"The national carrier Island Aviation will be shortly operating chartered flights from here to our country. This is being done to provide direct flight service from here to Maldives to attract more tourists," Deputy Tourism Minister of Maldives Hussain Lirar said on Wednesday.

Currently the direct flight from India to Maldives is operational only from Thiruvanathapuram and there is no direct flight from Delhi and Mumbai to the island country.

Admitting the absence of direct flight from Delhi and Mumbai, Lirar said, "Chartered flights will be available from Delhi shortly and depending upon the volume of traffic we will consider launching a regular scheduled flight from here."

While 1.1 million foreign tourists visited Maldives in 2013, the number of Indian tourists was about 33,000.

Inviting investments from India, Lirar said around 60 tourism related projects were in the pipeline in Maldives.

"We will be launching road shows here to showcase various attractions of Maldives," said Mohd Nasser, High Commissioner of Maldives.

Maldives is a popular tourist destination for water sports such as diving, snorkeling, surfing and diving.

(Agencies)

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