MAURITIUS AND MALDIVES SIGN NEW AIR ACCORD
The two Indian Ocean island states have earlier this week signed a new bilateral air services agreement, commonly referred to as BASA, allowing the national airlines of the two countries to commence up to 7 flights per week between Port Louis and Male at a later time.
The Maldives, more even than in Mauritius, depends heavily on tourism and has for the first time since records were established beaten Mauritius into second place in terms of passenger arrivals, exceeding the one million mark while Mauritius failed to reach that magic number. The Vanilla Island Cooperation, headquartered on La Reunion, has some weeks ago already floated the idea to incorporate the Maldives into the group to showcase the vacation potential within this part of the Indian Ocean and as and when flights are launched between the two destinations, it may well enhance twin centre holidays incorporating both the Maldives and Mauritius.
It could however not be established if either national airline would be in a position to commence flights any time soon, considering the cautious approach by Air Mauritius to new destinations, potentially leaving the route to a designated third country airline flying between Male and Port Louis as part of a fifth freedom rights agreement.
Watch this space for regular and breaking aviation news from the Indian Ocean islands.