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Chongqing Airlines Operates Inaugural Maldives Flight

DALLAS – China’s Chongqing Airlines (OQ), operating under parent company China Southern Airlines (CZ) operated its inaugural flight to Male’s Velana International Airport (MLE) on Monday, June 24. The MLE service is operated as a tag-on flight from Colombo (CMB) in Sri Lanka.

The Chinese carrier already operates flights from Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG) to CMB. OQ will offer thrice-weekly flights to Maldives. On the inaugural flight to MLE, 149 passengers were aboard OQ’s Airbus A320.

Flights between CKG, CMB, and MLE will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as follows:

Mondays & Fridays:

  • CKG (Chongqing) - CMB (Colombo): Departs at 12:10 PM, arriving at 3:30 PM.
  • CMB (Colombo) - MLE (Malé): Departs at 4:30 PM, arriving at 5:40 PM. 


  • CKG (Chongqing) - CMB (Colombo): Departs at 3:45 PM, arriving at 7:00 PM. 
  • CMB (Colombo) - MLE (Malé): Departs at 8:10 PM, arriving at 9:25 PM. 
Chongqing Airlines Airbus A321neo. Photo: Chongqing Airlines

Tourist Market

Besides becoming a tourist hotspot, Maldives offers visa-free entry to most nationalities, including Chinese nationals.

China remains a top tourist source market for the Maldives with over 113,000 Chinese travelers already having visited the Indian Ocean archipelago this year. This data was provided by the Maldives Ministry of Tourism. Earlier in February, China's Xiamen Airlines (MF) operated chartered flights between the Maldives and China.

Chongqing Airlines is jointly owned by CZ (60%) and Chongqing Municipal Development & Investment Company (40%). The airline was established on June 16, 2007, and it operates both domestic passenger services within mainland China and international passenger services to Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore.

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