Starting in 2022 you can expect to pay more in taxes for flights departing the Maldives.
The Maldives’ new departure tax
Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has this month signed into law an amendment that will see a change to the taxes and fees that passengers pay when departing the country.
Currently passengers pay:
- A $25 airport service charge when departing internationally, regardless of which airport travel is from
- An additional $25 airport development fee when departing internationally from Velana International Airport (MLE)
As of January 1, 2022, a new tiered departure tax will replace the current airport service charge. As of 2022, passengers can expect to pay:
- $30 for non-residents traveling internationally in economy (residents pay a discounted rate of $12)
- $60 for non-residents traveling internationally in business class
- $90 for non-residents traveling internationally in first class
This new fee replaces the current $25 airport service charge, meaning non-residents will pay anywhere from $5 to $65 more than before when departing on a commercial flight. Furthermore, the $25 airport development fee will continue to apply.
In other words, if you’re flying business class internationally from Velana Airport in Male, you can expect to pay $85 in fees to the country (the $60 departure tax, plus the $25 airport development fee).
The new departure tax will be waived for passengers with diplomatic immunity, and children under the age of two years.
Airlines will be responsible for collecting the new departure tax — it’s not entirely clear to me if this will be added to the ticket cost or collected in cash at the airport, as I’m seeing conflicting information in that regard.
Is this departure tax greedy, or fair enough?
In general I’m opposed to tourist destinations putting up barriers to visiting, whether that come in the form of complicated visas, or expensive fees for entering or departing. That being said, for the Maldives I don’t think that’s totally unreasonable.
The country arguably has too many tourists already (at least pre-pandemic), and generally visitors to the Maldives aren’t as price sensitive as in other destinations. If the money from these taxes could actually help the people of the Maldives in a positive way, then I’m all for it.
Of course the government actually spending the money in the best interest of its people is probably a completely different story, and a big ask. But in principle I don’t think this is unreasonable…
As of 2022, aviation taxes will be increasing for passengers departing the Maldives. A flat $25 departure tax will be replaced by a $30-90 departure tax for foreigners, depending on the cabin you’re traveling in. On top of that, a $25 airport development fee will apply when departing from the country’s primary international airport.
While this should hardly put a dent in an overall budget for a Maldives trip, it’s at least worth being aware of.
What do you make of the Maldives’ new departure tax?