Mega Maldives Airlines, the troubled private airline which once claimed to carry 10 per cent of all tourist traffic into the Maldives, has gone into voluntary liquidation, after suspending operations in May 2017.
The news didn’t come as a surprise to the trade. “(This would have) no impact on the industry. Mega Maldives has not been operating for a long time,” said Abdulla Ghiyas, president of the Maldivian Association for Travel Agents and Tour Operators.
Other trade members also expressed similar views, saying that Mega Maldives’ long absence has been factored into their business decisions, especially since there are other airlines servicing destinations between China and the Maldives.
According to local media reports, the debt-ridden airline was unable to secure a new investor and restart operations, and on February 27 this year entered into voluntary liquidation.
The company website could no longer be accessed. CEO and founder George Weinmann, who has a 49 per cent stake in the company, and other spokespersons were also not reachable for comment.
Since a May 2, 2017 announcement that the airline was temporarily suspending all flights immediately as part of’ “restructuring and recapitalisation” efforts, there has been no information on the status of the airline.
The airline, largely dependent on the Chinese market, was badly hit by falling arrivals in 2016 forcing it to shed staff and cut the number of aircraft to three from five.
Mega Maldives was established in 2010 with the intention of expanding direct air connectivity between the Maldives and emerging market destinations, and at one time was operating flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu, and Hangzhou as well as Incheon (Seoul).
But its network shrank dramatically to just two destinations – Beijing and Shanghai – when financial troubles hit the airline.
Currently Air China, Beijing Capital, Sichuan Airlines, China Eastern and China Southern operate flights between Chinese cities and the Maldives.
The country’s other airline, Maldivian, operates to eight destinations in China, Bangkok, Dhaka and two cities in India.