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New international airport to open in remote part of the Maldives

The collection of 1,192 paradise coral islands that make up Maldives will become more accessible to the rest of the world as a new airport will open in the southern region of the archipelago.

The Kooddoo Airport in Gaafu Alifu Atoll will open up the southern half of the Maldives, which has traditionally seen less visitors than the northern region. The majority of resorts are clustered in the north of the Maldives, yet this new airport is expected to bring about a tourism boom in the south.

Most of the islands lie off the beaten track and this new airport will open up the most remote corners of the Indian Ocean, which will be beneficial for tourists and locals alike. This is also expected to dramatically shorten the distance times for tourists transferring between the north and the south.

Before, holidaymakers hoping to enjoy the southern archipelago would transfer from the capital, Male, with an hour sea-plane flight and one hour speed boat rise. Now they can make the journey to the southern islands with a 45-minute flight from the new international airport. Maldivian, the national carrier, will fly twice daily from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in Maléto Koodoo, cutting the previous journey time by nearly half.

President Mohamed Waheed opened the airport earlier this week, which is the eighth airport to open in the Maldives, including two international airports. This comes as a boost to the Maldivian tourist industry following a year of political unrest. Tourists have been largely unaffected by the situation, which was confined to the capital. Holidaymakers heading overseas might wish to take travel insurance, to ensure that they are protected financially should they require medical attention or be the victim of crime.

Date Created: 13 September 2012

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