ASWC will open new avenues of commerce: MACL MD

The 7th edition of the Air Service World Congress (ASWC) kicks off in Maldives on Tuesday, July 09, 2024. (Photo/ MACL)

The Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) Managing Director Ibrahim Shareef on Tuesday, has said that the relationships and partnerships that will be forged through this year’s Air Service World Congress (ASWC) 2024 will help shape a brighter future for the Maldivian aviation industry.

Shareef made the remarks at the inaugural ceremony of the 7th Air Services World Congress at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort and Spa on Tuesday evening to welcome the attendees.

Speaking at the ceremony, Shareef said the congress serves as a vital platform for airlines, airports and tourism industry authorities to come together and “drive forward the development of global air services”.

MACL Managing Director Ibrahim Shareef Mohamed, in his welcoming speech said the Air Service World Congress 2024 will enhance new avenues of commerce and aviation industry growth in the Maldives. This year's ASWC kicked off on Tuesday, July 09, 2024. (Photo/ MACL)

He added that Velana International Airport (VIA), the country’s premier aviation hub, is not just a gateway to the Maldives but a symbol of progress and testament to the Maldives’ commitment to excellence in aviation and hospitality.

In this regard, Shareef highlighted the evolution of VIA and said that MACL has carried out extensive modernization and expansion projects to enhance the infrastructure and capacity of Maldivian airports, especially VIA.

“These developments are crucial as they enable us to welcome a growing number of visitors from around the globe,” said Shareef in his welcome speech, who added MACL’s vision is to position VIA as a premier hub in the Indian Ocean region.

Shareef further accentuated President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu and his government’s strategic approach to expand VIA as a hub for economic development, adding that MACL’s vision is to develop the airport with a “plethora of facilities” that will create opportunities and experiences that are “at par with the country’s luxurious hospitality industry.”


During the welcoming ceremony of Air Service World Congress held at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa on Tuesday, July 09, 2024. (Photo/ MACL)

“From the construction of new terminals to incorporating new technologies, every step has been meticulously crafted to cater to evolving needs of our passengers and airlines,” Shareef said.

While highlighting the vital nature of the country’s tourism industry, and emphasizing the sector’s 28 percent contribution to Maldives GDP, Shareef said the advancements at VIA are pivotal in supporting the tourism sector.

“By increasing our capacity and connectivity, we are able to attract more tourists, foster economic growth and create sustainable development to our communities.”

Shareef also noted the emphasis made on sustainability in the developmental projects, and said VIA’s development project incorporated eco-friendly practices, renewable energy sources and innovative solutions to minimize the carbon footprint.

He closed the speech by inviting the participants of this year’s ASWC to explore the possibilities in building mutually beneficial and lasting relationships.

Shareef also thanked President Muizzu and his administration for their unwavering commitment towards the development of the aviation industry, and likewise thanked the stakeholders, partners and dedicated team of VIA for their continued support and hard work.

The Air Service World Congress 2024 has attracted over 150 delegates from 27 airlines, 17 airports and other aviation industry stakeholders. This also marks the first route development congress to be held in the Maldives.

The activities of this year’s ASWC will proceed at three different resort properties; the welcoming event was held at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort and Spa. Networking and special events will proceed at SAii Lagoon Maldives, in CROSSROADS Maldives and the main event will be held at Kurumba Maldives.