The airport commonly referred to as Male International Airport was officially named Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, after the second President who initiated the airport in the 60s. Located on Hulhule Island, the airport is the main international airport in Maldives and serves Maldives’ capital city, Male. The airport started out as a small strip of land, and the first runway put in was made of slotted steel sheets. Male Airport opened in 1960, and the first aircraft that landed was a Royal New Zealand Air Force transport plane. It was then upgraded and became an international airport in 1981.
Today, the airport is owned and managed by Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), which is fully owned by the Government of Maldives. Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is the hub for Mega Maldives, Maldivian, Trans Maldivian Airways, and sees to more than 32 non-stop flights to Asia, Europe, and United Arab Emirates. More than 30 passenger airlines operate domestic and international flights at Male Airport, with SriLankan Airlines being one of the largest foreign carrier into Maldives with more than 30 flights a week.
Male Airport offers great services for passengers and facilities including information desks, restaurants and cafes, retail stores, lost and found, 24-hour health care centre, pharmacy, smoking area, 24-hour baggage storage, baggage wrapping, internet, post office, prayer room, money exchange counters, bank, ATMs, as well as facilities for families and the disabled. There’s also a free shower area for travellers who are on transit and need to freshen up.
How to get around (within destination)
Male Airport is located on HulHule Island, which is a kilometres from Male City, and there are speedboat transfers, sea plane transfers, or airport ferries to the city. Male Airport is known to host the biggest sea plane operations in the world. For sea plane transfer, you can approach the Maldivian Air Taxi or Trans Maldivian Airways counters at the airport. You can arrange speedboat transfers with your accommodation prior to your arrival. A journey by boat to the city is approximately 10 minutes. There are also regular airport ferry transfers to the city, which runs every 10, 15 and 30 minutes depending on the time of the day.
Once in Male, bicycle is a great way to get around the city whilst enjoying the scenery. Check with your resort as they might be able to arrange something for you. Alternatively, taxis can take you around the city for a fixed price, which is about NZD 1.60 for any distance.
What to see & do
There’s a small beach near Ibrahim Nasir International Airport on Hulhule Island, while you’re waiting for your transfer to your accommodation. The closest attractions worth looking are in Male, and you can start at the protected marine area of Banana Reef, where you can either snorkel or dive in intricate gardens of corals amongst barracudas, sharks, morays and blue-stripper snapper. There are also dramatic cliffs, caves and overhangs for you explore.
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