Male’ International Airport To Be Privatized
As a part of a dramatic overhaul of the island economy of Maldives, the government of Maldives has announced to privatize the biggest Airport in the country. Traditionally The Maldivian economy has been open to new investments while , key infrastructure (e.g. Sea Ports, Telephone,Energy,Transport network and Airports) has been under direct government control.
The economy in the island nation has been booming for a long while, interestingly while usually in most economies as the economy expands and GDP rises the size of the government administration shrinks and privatization leads to lesser involvement of the government in commercial activity. In Maldives however is has rather taken an unusual path, the size of the Civil Service boomed with the economy ending up with over 10% of the total population working in the public sector, while sectors like transport previously dominated by private sector was overtaken by the ‘mega government corporations ‘ like the State Trading Organization and MTCC.
The mid 2000’s saw a wave of change in peoples attitudes towards economy and the role of the government in it. The change from the Gayoom Administration to the current Nasheed Administration saw a major shift in privatization policies, specially in opening up the key infrastructure for privatization. The Male’ International Airport was opened in April 1966, since then various upgrades and master plans has transformed this tiny strip of runway to a fully functioning and a key airport in the South East Asian Region. The airport currently is near a maximum capacity with almost at a 200,000 passengers growth rate. ( in 2006 it was 1.57 million passengers, in 2007 it was 1.81 million) The government has requested the World Bank to find investors for this massive privatization phase of the airport.
Once the Male’ International Airport has been privatized there is speculation that there might be a move to privatize the remaining Gan International Airport as well(located North of Maldives) .Currently Gan Airport has very few chartered International services running once a fortnight mainly from europe, but with many Island resorts springing up around the Gan Region it is expected to handle as many passengers as its sister the Male’ International Airport.
Currently there are almost forty airlines making scheduled and chartered flights to and from Maldives some of them include: Aeroflot-Cargo, Air Europa, Air Europe, Air Holland, Air Maldives, Air Tours International, Austrian Airlines, BAL, BBB, British Airways, Balkan Bulgarian, Condor, Elbee Airlines, Emirates, Expo Aviation, Indian Airlines, LTU Int´l, Lauda Air, Malaysia Airlines, Monarch, Nordic East Airways, Pakistan Int´l, Singapore Airlines Cargo, Sky Cabs, South African Airways, Srilankan Airines/Cargo, Uzbekistan Airways and are in negotiations with budget airlines to diversify the tourism market.