Maldives national airline, Maldivian has strongly objected to the issuing of domestic license to foreign airlines including the Sri Lankan airline claiming that local airlines could go bankrupt as a result of such a decision, Haveeru Online reported.
Regarding the interest expressed by Sri Lankan airlines to operate flights to Gan, Maldivian Managing Director Abdul Haris told Haveeru on Monday that the government had sought the company’s opinion on the matter and that they had rebuffed it. Explaining the decision, Haris said that an established brand like Sri Lankan entering the business would destroy the competition and that it could lead to the bankruptcy of local airlines.
“We have informed why we are against the decision. It is not practiced in any country to allow huge airlines to compete in the domestic flights. For instance, we cannot hold flights to Trivandrum and then from there to Mumbai. No country would grant such permission,” Haris said.
Sri Lankan had told foreign travel media that it had requested permission to hold direct flights Gan to increase the amount of visitors to the Maldives. A government official explained that Sri Lankan had proposed to hold two flights a week. In that regard, it had expressed interest in holding direct flights from Sri Lanka to Gan and from Gan to Male.
“The discussions are proceeding swiftly,” official said.
Haris said that while such a discussion is ongoing, the government should think of protecting the national airline established with the hard work of many individuals. He stressed that even in other countries precedence to would be given to the national airline. He also questioned why a foreign airline is being considered while there are domestic airlines present.