Gov to invest 17 million $ for Gan Airport. But What does the airport really need for growth?
The government has announced plans to invest USD 17 million (MVR 262.14 million) for Gan International Airport‘s development project.
Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail in an interview with Sun media informed that the government envisions great development to the Addu region under its policy for decentralized development to the country.
He said that the obstacle to increasing flights lies in areas that require improvement at the airport, and that the government has decided to invest in the airport to resolve the issues plaguing the airport and bringing about further development.
We are arranging finance through the line of credit at India’s Exim Bank. This will be a huge boost to the Addu airport and the Addu region,” he said.
Gan international airport remains the longest-running airport in the Maldives but has failed to gain great progress throughout the years.
The airline network in the Maldives today primarily focuses all passengers flow directly to Velana International Airport and the passenger traffic is distributed to other airports and resorts from VIA by seaplanes or domestic airplanes. This often leads to chaos in VIA due to the high frequency of arrivals to only one operating runway during peak season.
In order to see growth in Gan international airport’s passenger movement; what is required is the linkage between Gan airport and airports and resorts within the southern region. If these routes are connected and international operations can be established, the passenger that use to fly to male’ and then to the southern region can instead fly to Gan airport and then fly from Gan to the airports and resorts in the south.
This would cut travel time by half after arrival to the Maldives and reduce ticket costs to the passengers as well. This would also reduce the high frequency of airplanes at VIA. Lesser travel time and cheaper tickets would also attract more tourists to this region.
Favorable prices can be offered at Gan airport to further attract airlines. MACL can charge higher prices for airlines opting to operate to VIA, thus a lesser frequency of arrivals would not greatly impact the airport's revenue.
Sri Lankan airlines have been operating to Gan airport from Colombo however the airline expressed concerns regarding the route as the demand is less. The airline is communicating with national airline Maldivian and Manta Air regarding establishing connecting flights from Gan airport to the southern region.
Regardless of massive investments to develop the airport, it would not favor in the progress of the airport if passenger demand cannot be established.