The First A380-800 Airbus giant to land today in Maldives with a Maldivian Pilot in command
Photo Credit To Respective Authors

The First A380-800 Airbus giant to land today in Maldives with a Maldivian Pilot in command


Double News ! The First ever A380-800 Airbus giant to land today in Maldives. A Maldivian Pilot will be in command !

First A380-800 lands today in the Maldives. Flight operated by Etihad Airways

Etihad Airbus A380-800 first flight to Maldives

Etihad Airways will be the first A380-800 to land this afternoon at 03.30pm Male time and symbolically the pilot at the command is Maldivian.

Etihad Airways A380-800 Aircraft

Etihad Airways A380-800 Aircraft to be landed in Maldives Velana Airport piloted by a Maldivian

Started in 2015 and completed on 2018, August 30th, the new runway of Maldives International Airport, recently renamed Velana, is ready to welcome its first giant aircraft today !

Velana International Airport New extension Project

Measuring 3,400 meter long ( 11155 ft ) and 60 meter (197 ft ) width, the new tarmac has now the capacity to welcome the world’s largest airlines.
The US$400 million project was built by a chinese construction and co-funded between the Maldivian government together with Saudi, Kuwait and OPEC Fund investments.

Velana Airport new extension project.
Velana Airport new extension project. Credit MACL

The project needed a reclamation of 88 hectares of land for the all extension including the new runway, the passenger terminal and seaplane terminal.

Velana Airport Runway. BEFORE

Maldives Male International Airport Runway. Credit Maldives Airports

Before the extension, the airport had just one runway and limited parking space.

Departing aircrafts would be standing on the runway for take-off, delaying the next arrival or departure by at least 15 minutes.

  • Maldives Male International Airport Runway
  • Maldives Male International Airport Runway

Velana Airport Runway. BEFORE & AFTER

Velana Airport Runway. AFTERVelana Airport Runway. BEFORE

Velana Airport Runway. AFTER

Velana Airport AFTER the new extension

Expansion of the main international airport in Maldives.
Velana Airport new extension project. Credit : Maldives Airports

The new runway offers an Instrument Landing System (ILS), a system that allows pilots to ease the aeroplanes in and out of the runway with ease, even on days with bad weather. A Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) has been also implemented as a backup for approach procedures.

The Code F Runway Designed to be easier and quicker for Pilots and Passengers.

Maldives Aiport Authorities announces that the new extension will also decrease flight delays and speed-up plane taxiing. Designed to serve a wide range of aircrafts ranging from commuters to t A380-800 like today, the new runway capacity will increase from current 12 aircraft to 36 aircraft per hour with an average runway occupancy time expected to be not more than 48 seconds by each aircraft.


Male Airport has become such a busy place the past years…
View of the tarmac loaded with planes and private jets

Busy Tarmac at Velana Airport. Private Jets are legion.
Busy Tarmac at Velana Airport. Private Jets are legion. Credit MACL

Etihad 278 Abu Dhabi / Velana Airport Flight Details

Date ( First Flight ) 18 September 2018
AUH Abu Dhabi International Airport, AE / MLE Velana International Airport, MV
Departure Schedule 08:40. Arrival Scheduled ( delayed ) original 14:05 – Official Landing at 15.30
Craft Type : Airbus A380-800 .
Passengers : 388
Flight Time : 4h 25m

Etihad Airways 278 Flight Tracker
Etihad Airways 278 Flight Tracker

News from Channel 13. The big bird landed safe and beautifully ! Live Coverage.


Introducing The Pilot - Etihad Airways Airbus A380. VIDEO

Just because I love it, I’ve been looking for this Maldivian Pilot, but could not find his picture.
So, instead enjoy this Video from Etihad introducing one his Airbus A380 pilot.


About The Author

I am Rozenn, Dreaming of Maldives writer and editor. Sakis, my partner in life, is the photograher behind most of the images you will see here. We travel to the Maldives several times a year for journeys that can vary from 1 week to several months. We created Dreaming of Maldives “The Blog” as an extension of the webite of the same name to make you discover the Maldives in the most complete and different way as possible. This blog is a place to dream. It is mainly aimed to share with you our long time experience and Emotions of travelling in the marvelous and so unique Maldives… PLEASE ...NEVER STOP DREAMING . Dreamfully Yours. Rozenn. Carpe Diem.

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