Maldives Airports Guide – What options are there?

When you’re flying to Maldives, there is one primary airport for incoming guests. This is the Velana International airport. You definitely should be familiar with this hub, but there are several other Maldives airports you can be aware of as well.

When you fly into Male, you will need to plan travel to whatever island or resort you are visiting. This will require the use of speedboats or a seaplane to take you to another Maldives airport closer to your resort.

In this guide, we will dive deeper into the different airports throughout Maldives so you can have a better understanding of where you can go.

If you’re planning any type of island hopping or making plans to get to your resort island, these details will be vital for your trip to paradise.

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Maldives Airport Accommodations

Traveling to the Maldives isn’t just about finding your resort and never leaving. Some people want a full experience that allows them to see a whole bunch of the country without missing out on quality experiences.

You may hear of island hopping, but there are other reasons to familiarize yourself with airports in the Maldives.

After all, this might be how you make it to your resort for the entirety of your stay. Planning will be important.

These are reasons that you may need to use airports in Maldives to get around:

These are just a few reasons you might need something besides the MLE (Male) airport to get around.

These airports are the most common options to know about.

International Airports in Maldives

Now, let’s look at the international airports in the country. Remember, there are only a few international airports, and some of them will not allow US visitors to fly through them.

This is primarily related to the airlines and whether they accommodate US passengers. Know the restrictions before you book.

International airports in Maldives are:

  1. Velana International Airport
  2. Gan International Airport
  3. Hanimaadhoo International Airport
  4. Maafaru International Airport
  5. Villa International Airport Maamigili

Maldives airport code is MLE.

1. Velana International Airport

Velana International Airport

The first of Maldives airports to be aware of is the Velana International airport. This is the Male International airport. They are one and the same.

As far as airports in Maldives are concerned, this is your primary hub. Velana International airport is the only international airport in Malé (the capital of Maldives).

It will be from here that you can then travel to the necessary domestic airport.

If you remember nothing else in your trip planning, be sure to remember the Velana International Airport. You might also hear it called Male International airport, and the airport code is MLE.

Located on the capital island Male, you won’t find hardly any other international airports in Maldives. There are a couple, but this is your primary location for international flights and by far the busiest airport as well.

Velana Internation Airport IATA: MLE

2. Gan International Airport

Gan International Airport

The Gan International Airport is another large airport and they do allow international flights all year long. This is both a domestic airport and international. They partner with the Maldives airport company, as well as some of the local needs.

The options for international flights at Gan International airport are limited. The international flight carrier operating companies here is SriLankan Airlines. They do connect with Colombo.

Other airlines for international flights will probably have to seek alternative airports.

Gan International Airport IATA: GAN

3. Hanimaadhoo International Airport

Hanimaadhoo International Airport

The Hanimaadhoo is primarily one of the domestic airports in Maldives. However, in 2012, the Maldives airports company collaborated to turn this into an international airport.

The Hanimaadhoo International Airport runs service to the upper Northern locations.

Management and operations run through Maldives airports company limited. It’s a very small airport with limited flights available. In fact, they have a single runway that operates both domestic and international flights.

The International capabilities are primarily to India, but they do fly to other islands throughout Maldives.

Hanimaadhoo International Airport IATA: HAQ

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4. Maafaru International Airport

Maafaru International Airport

The Maafaru International Airport is a newer option and has only been open since the end of 2019. Next to the Maldives international airport in Male, this is the next largest choice. It easily overtook the Ibrahim Nasir International airport because of their limitations.

They provide island aviation services, flights to and from domestic airports, and international travel too. This airport was built to make it more convenient to reach some of the farther atolls without incredibly long seaplane rides required.

This international airport can accommodate private jets, the Boeing 73 or A320, and several other needs. They partner with airlines like Flyme, Maldivian Air, and Manta Air.

Maafaru International Airport IATA: NMF

5. Villa International Airport Maamigili

Villa International Airport Maamigili

Picture: Andreas Faessler, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The final international airport in the Maldives that is commonly used, is the Villa International Airport. Flights do often go between Male airport and this one, and they serve more than 150,000 customers each year, giving you some idea of the air traffic here.

The Villa airport is very close to places like Sun Island Resort, Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa, Maldives Rangali Island, and some other popular choices. The challenge is they partner with very few airlines, including only Flyme and Charter Seaplanes really.

This means US flyers will not be able to come internationally here, but this is one of the domestic airports they might utilize during their stay. This one also has a VIP lounge and access to the city hotel. It’s primarily for the ultra-luxury tourism zone in this area.

Villa International Airport IATA: VAM

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Domestic Airports and Seaplane Operations

Maldives seaplane operations

For the most part, when you arrive in Male, the domestic airports will be responsible for taking you from one island to the next.

These airports in the Maldives are typically managed by Island Aviation services and are meant to help you get from one island to another. They cannot take you to another country or leave Maldives airspace.

These are some of the top domestic airport options in Maldives:

  1. Dharavandhoo Airport
  2. Fuvahmulah Airport
  3. Maavarulu Airport
  4. Kaadedhdhoo Airport
  5. Kadhdhoo Airport
  6. Kooddoo Airport
  7. Dhaalu Airport
  8. Thimarafushi Airport
  9. Kulhudhuffushi Airport
  10. Funadhoo Airport
  11. Hoarafushi Airport

These domestic airport options can take you to specific islands, depending on where you’re headed. Since the Maldives is an array of islands, domestic flights like these are not for the major airlines.Those are the major airports we named above.

Remember that your main airport for international travel, particularly for US customers, is the Male Airport.

However, these provide Maldives transport like what you might normally get from something like a shuttle or a subway in some tourist locations.

Each one has airport codes, and flights operated will go to specific domestic destinations.

1. Dharavandhoo Airport

The Dharavandhoo Airport is on the island of Dharavandhoo. This is located in the Baa Atoll area of Maldives. This report has one runway, although it is a decent length.

They will fly to and from Male Island as well as Ifuru Airport and Hanimaadhoo airport.

This airport in Maldives reaches a few coastline hotels in the area. Operated almost solely by Maldivian Airlines.

Dharavandhoo Airport IATA: DRV

2. Fuvahmulah Airport

Much like the name suggests, Fuvahmulah Airport is located on the island Fuvahmulah. This is in the Gnaviyani Atoll of Maldives. The runway is asphalt and is a decent length for the Maldivian airlines that come and go here.

They coordinate with Flyme and Maldivian as a contracting company. They primarily only move from Gan island to Male Island and vice versa.

Fuvahmulah Airport IATA: FVM

3. Maavarulu Airport

The Maavarulu Airport is the newest domestic airport you will find of Maldives airports. This one was just opened in 2020 and is tied to the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll area. The runway is just slightly longer here, but not a ton.

This domestic airport partners with Maldivian and flies to locations like Gan, Male, Kaadedhdhoo, and Kooddoo Airport as well.

Maavarulu Airport IATA: RUL

4. Kaadedhdhoo Airport

This airport correlated with Maavarulu, as we already discussed, as well as some others in the Gaafu Dhaalu atoll in Maldives. It’s perhaps one of the oldest domestic airports around, dating back to 1993.

They use Maldivian and fly to Fuvahmulah, Gan, Male, and Kadhdhoo locations.

Kaadedhdhoo Airport IATA: KDM

5. Kadhdhoo Airport

The Kadhdhoo Airport really is the oldest of the domestic airport facilities and the first to have airport codes for their rides. They were created by a project that began in 1982 and didn’t complete until 1986.

Located on the Kadhdhoo Island, this is a halfway point for Gan and Male, and that’s primarily where you are likely to see usage. The runway has a short take-off as well as weight limitations for landings.

They do partner with Flyme and Maldivian with service to Dharavandhoo, Gan, Kaadedhdhoo, Kooddoo, Villa, and Male.

Kadhdhoo Airport IATA: KDO

6. Kooddoo Airport

This is another very small airport that Maldivian Airlines operate as the only flight carrier in and out. It’s used for island-to-island transport and small planes only. The reach only goes to islands like Gan, Male, and Kadhdhoo, most of which are in the same Atolls area as this island and airport.

This air travel airport includes the Kooddoo island and will operate flights on a limited basis to those domestic terminals named here.

Kooddoo Airport IATA: GKK

7. Dhaalu Airport

Moving on to a different Atoll, we find the Dhaalu Airport, which is tied to the Dhaalu Atoll. This was built by Reollo Investments Pvt LTD but is now managed through Dhaalu Airport Holdings.

This is a slightly larger domestic airport that has a longer runway. They can accommodate some large private jets, giving them slightly more functionality. They use solar airfield lighting and were the first airport in Maldives to do so.

This Dhaalu airport functions with Manta Air and flies only to or from Male.

Dhaalu Airport IATA: DDD

8. Thimarafushi Airport

Located in Thaa Atoll, this airport was first built by Maldives Transport and Contracting Company, which is also known as MTCC. They started landing flight tests in 2013 and have been operating well ever since.

This is a limited domestic airport that only offers services to the Thimarafushi Island and to Male. There are no other stops or traffic from the Thimarafushi Airport.

Thimarafushi Airport IATA: TMF

9. Kulhudhuffushi Airport

This Maldives airport has slightly more activity and operates between three different islands. They do coordinate with the Ifuru Airport, which is extremely limited and not on our primary list here.

This airport is tied to the Kulhudhuffushi Island.

They partner with Maldivian and fly to Ifuru airport, Male, or Dharavandhoo.

Kulhudhuffushi Airport IATA: HDK

10. Funadhoo Airport

Funadhoo fought long and hard to come to fruition. They finally started flying in 2020, but there is one airport newer than them, which we mentioned above.

They currently fly only three times per week, but rumor has it they will eventually advance to three times per day.

The asphalt runway isn’t very long, which does limit some capability. However, it works well for the small planes running back and forth. Right now, they fly only between Funadhoo and Male. The passenger terminal is nice and friendly.

Funadhoo Airport IATA: FND

11. Hoarafushi Airport

The last of the primary Maldives airports to cover in this guide is Hoarafushi Airport. They work together with Maldives Airports Corporation, and that is the only airline that operates here. They fly only to this island and Male at this time. They are another new addition as an airport in the Maldives.

Tied to this airport are duty free shops and a fire building. Fly over the Indian Ocean to Male in no time.

Hoarafushi Airport IATA: HRF

Duty Free Shops in Maldives Airports

Duty Free in Maldives

Some of the airports in the Maldives have duty free shops that you can use to buy your friends and family gifts or souvenirs. These shops are usually fairly small and part of whatever airport they are located at. The intent is to have a great place for you to easily find something.

Many airports in the Maldives have these shops and they carry a variety of products from things like perfume and cosmetics to souvenirs and Maldives branded items that make great gifts.

They can be fun to walk through and browse, so hit them up if you are traveling.

You can find duty free shop at the Velana Internation Airport.

Setting Expectations for Airports in the Maldives

We’ve mentioned quite a few airports here, from international options to domestic options. One thing you need to be aware of is that many of the domestic airports don’t have daily flights. When you are planning your trips, this may be something you need to pay close attention to.

For example, the last airport in the Maldives on our list currently only has three flights per week. You may have to plan things like your check-in or check-out based around those days.

It would do you no good to have a check-out date but not be able to catch a flight to the Male airport in Maldives until the next day.

That being said, many of the resorts do operate seaplanes or have transportation of their own that might not have to go through these airports in the Maldives. But you want to be certain to look at these particular details as you are planning.

Seaplane Terminal Airport in the Maldives

Seaplane in MaldivesOne thing we want to point out is that a lot of the resorts have their own seaplane terminal options. Many resorts will provide air transport to and from where you don’t necessarily have to coordinate.

In some cases, this is limited to travel only to and from Male or other international airports and not for your other activities.

Check with the resort you are booking at to find out what type of transportation they provide and whether they accommodate you getting from your international flight base to your resort.

You can find more info about the seaplanes on Trans Maldivian Airways website.

Fly to Maldives and Enjoy the Journey

If you’re looking for regular flights to Maldives or the nearest airport to Maldives, your best bet is to search with the Male airport code. The Maldives airports are somewhat limited, particularly for international travelers.

The Velana airport is located in Male and Male flights are the most common and most regular options. If you’re traveling from the US, the available airlines come here.

Familiarize yourself with the airlines and the airports that you might need as you plan your trip but know that Male will likely be the primary choice.

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Maldives Airports on Map


Which Airport Do You Fly Into for Maldives?

Some travelers can use any international airport that associates with their chosen airlines. However, the majority will have to stick to Male airport for their travel needs.

How Many Airports are There in Maldives?

There are four international choices and 11-13 domestic choices. Not all of them allow or accommodate every passenger so be sure to check those details.

Is Male and Velana Airport the Same?

Yes, these are one and the same! It’s an interchangeable term with the same airport codes to accommodate your travel.

What is the Main Maldives Airport?

This would be Male’s Velana International Airport. This is where the notable airlines primarily travel through, particularly companies like Air Asia and others that accommodate US passengers. The airport codes are MLE for this one.

How Many Airlines Coordinate with Male Airport?

There are approximately 28 different airlines that can utilize this airport. You may need to find flights connecting from another location in order to ultimately reach Maldives. Remember the airport codes for Male (MLE) as you search your flights connecting you here to paradise.

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