Flag carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain — Gulf Air commenced its operations to Maldives on October 27, 2019. The historic inaugural flight of Gulf Air GF144 landed Velana International Airport at 06:10 a.m. local time. Upon arrival, the landing aircraft was greeted with a water cannon salute.

Gulf Air is the first commercial airline to be established in the Middle East. Since its establishment in 1950, this boutique airline has been flying its wings across the globe. Currently, they serve 47 cities in 26 countries across Africa, Asia and Europe. In addition to selected destinations in the Indian subcontinent and Europe, the airline operates twice-daily flights or more to 10 regional cities from its hub at Bahrain International Airport.

Maldives is the third new destination in 2019, under its destination expansion plan. Gulf Air will be operating weekly five non-stop flights to Maldives. This route will be operated by its latest and newest Airbus A320neo jet, which was introduced to the airline’s fleet on June 22, 2019. The airline will acquire a total of 12 Airbus A320neo aircraft by the end of 2023 as part of a major fleet development project.

In a celebratory function held at Hotel Jen Malé, Vincent Coste, Chief Commercial Officer of Gulf Air officially inaugurated its operations to the Maldives. Coste handed over a plaque as a key to mark the official inaugural. The plaque was received by Ruwan Kumarage, Country Manager of Mack Air Services Maldives (Pvt) Ltd  — General Sales Agent in Maldives for Gulf Air.

Mack Air Services Maldives (Pvt) Ltd is the representative in Maldives for Mack Air, airline division of John Keells Group — a limited liability company established in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1979.

Dignitaries from the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Maldives Civil Aviation Authority, Maldives Airports Company Ltd and other stakeholders of the Aviation Industry such as Passenger Sales Agents graced the inauguration of Gulf Air operations. The Chief Guest of the function was Aishath Nahla – Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation.