Velana International Airport (VIA) has been named Indian Oceans Leading Airport at the African and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony of the World Travel Awards 2018 held recently at the Durban International Convention Centre, (Durban ICC) in South Africa.
VIA has been operating with only one runway which measures 45 metres in width and 3,200 metres in length, along with four water runways used for seaplane operations. There are three passenger terminals, including an international terminal, a domestic terminal and a waterdrome seaplane terminal.
An additional new runway which measures 45 meters in width and 3,200 in length has been built recently at the airport but is yet to be open to using.The new runway was developed by China's Beijing Urban Development Corporation (BUCG) for a project cost of USD400 million.
As part of a major development project at VIA, the new runway aims to ease the plane traffic that at times get overwhelming due to the presence of just a single tarmac. The new runway is also constructed with the latest design technology and would be able to withstand the pressure of heavy-duty airliners like the Airbus A360.
Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) is the operator of VIA and has been massively involved in destination marketing and bringing in new airlines to the Maldives to boost up the tourism industry.
MACL has embarked on one of the biggest projects in the history of Maldives in developing the future Velana International Airport such as the development of a brand new international passenger terminal, a new code F runway, a new cargo terminal complex and a new fuel farm along with hydrant system and major infrastructure developments at Velana internationals Airport.
World travel awards are well-known as the highest and most exclusive award ceremony in the Travel and Tourism Industry. It is also renowned as the "Oscars of the Travel Industry." Today, the World Travel Awardsâ„¢ brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.
Each year, World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region. World Travel Awards Gala Ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and industry leaders, luminaries and international print and broadcast media.
The 2018 African and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony marked the sixth leg of the WTA Grand Tour 2018 a series of regional events to acknowledge the worlds outstanding travel brands. Events on the tour include Ras al Khaimah (United Arab Emirates), Athens (Greece), Hong Kong, Guayaquil (Ecuador) and Montego Bay (Jamaica).
Several resorts in the Maldives also received awards at the World Travel Awards 2018: African and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony. Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives, was awarded Indian Oceans Leading Family Resort, JA Manafaru as Indian Oceans Leading Honeymoon Resort and the Royal Island Suite at JA Manafaru as the Indian Oceans Leading Hotel Suite.
The Maldives also took home titles such as Indian Oceans Leading Beach Destination, Indian Oceans Leading Destination and Indian Oceans Leading Dive Destination.
The regional winners will progress to the Grand Final 2018, which will be held in Lisbon (Portugal) on December 1.