Maldives to Impose New Airport Departure Tax

All travelers flying internationally from the Indian Ocean nation will have to pay the fee starting in January.

Sunset in the Maldives’ North Male Atoll. (Photo: Mohamed Lammah/Unsplash)

Planning a post-pandemic holiday in the Maldives? Airport charges there are about to get a little more expensive. Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has recently ratified a new amendment to the country’s Airport Taxes and Fees Act, paving the way for the introduction of a departure tax applicable to all passengers flying internationally from any airport in the Indian Ocean archipelago next year. This will follow a tiered system that will replace the existing US$25 service charge levied on outbound flyers, in tandem with a US$25 airport development fee at Male’s Velana International Airport.

From January 1, 2022, travelers leaving the Maldives on a commercial airliner will have to fork out an extra US$5 to US$65 per person, depending on which cabin class they are flying. Visitors traveling in economy class must pay US$30, while residents will be eligible for a discounted fee of US$12. The rate doubles to US$60 for all travelers booked into business class, regardless of residency status, and first-class passengers can expect to be charged US$90. Those flying out on private charter jets will be asked to pay US$120 per person. This departure tax will be waived for passengers with diplomatic immunity and children under the age of two.

The US$25 airport development fee at Velana International Airport will still apply in all cases, which means that business-class flyers returning home from the Maldives’ main gateway must pay a combined surcharge of US$85, and first-class passengers US$115. Individual airlines will be responsible for collecting the new departure tax, but it has not been determined whether the charge will be included in the price of a ticket or paid at check-in.

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