Maldives Adds New Airport Departure Tax

Maldives Adds New Airport Departure Tax

11

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.

Your Maldives vacation could soon cost you more

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…

The Maldives has no shortage of tourists

Bottom line

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?

Conversations (11)
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  1. Kevin H.

    what happens if i already purchased tickets for next March? Will there be a supplement payment required online or at the airport?

  2. Kevin

    So obvious as a money grab move. But I don’t blame them. I would do the same.

  3. JustSaying

    I had Emirates FC to Maldives and Qatar Biz to Paris and recently cancelled both. Maldives is a RED country to France so once you go there you can't enter France on the same trip. And after going through all the coordination for puddle jumper flight to boat dock to hotel for extra $600 I just pulled the plug and said the Australian barrier reef and Hamilton Island are so much more civilized! As long...

    I had Emirates FC to Maldives and Qatar Biz to Paris and recently cancelled both. Maldives is a RED country to France so once you go there you can't enter France on the same trip. And after going through all the coordination for puddle jumper flight to boat dock to hotel for extra $600 I just pulled the plug and said the Australian barrier reef and Hamilton Island are so much more civilized! As long as the Maldives brings in its workers from India they are going to be RED for quite a while!

  4. Ed A.

    As usual in a third world country, those "fees" are just another way to fleece tourists. In most of those countries, those fees never "trickle down" to the poor folks.

  5. EC2

    Well I would like pay as little as possible I can see why the Maldives government is doing it - because it can. They have a guaranteed stream of tourists they they know they can tap in to and will so long as they don’t see any drop in tourists. Something like this would never be a “barrier” to traveling to the Maldives. The general overall cost to traveling somewhere is going to be more...

    Well I would like pay as little as possible I can see why the Maldives government is doing it - because it can. They have a guaranteed stream of tourists they they know they can tap in to and will so long as they don’t see any drop in tourists. Something like this would never be a “barrier” to traveling to the Maldives. The general overall cost to traveling somewhere is going to be more of a barrier. Pushing the Maldives aside as it is more of a specialty destination I would say I’m less likely to want to travel to most of Europe because of the high costs across the board. Will I go to Europe again, yes, but not on top of my list.

  6. Gabriel c

    Several countries do it embedding it on the ticket taxes and fees, Mexico charges 550 MXN for "non resident rights" (DNR)

    When you purchase a ticket in AA with a Mexican passport AA deducts it from your total, while no other airline does it.

  7. Spenny

    I already have an award trip booked for 2022 so very curious if I will be charged by airline, or if they will eat the cost or if it will be on arrival that I will have to pay

  8. Eskimo

    "The new departure tax will be waived for passengers with diplomatic immunity"

    This sounds like state level bribe and corruption loophole.

    And any departure tax that charges differently between economy and premium cabin is greedy, yes you too UK.

    1. torontoflyer

      I don't think this is a bribe or corruption loophole kinda thing. Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations exempted diplomats from any kind of tax obligation, and they just couldn't impose these 'taxes' without violating the internationally-accepted diplomatic norm....

    2. Eskimo

      So why don't they do it hotel style.

      There is no departure tax, only airport resort fees.

  9. MRL

    I'm admittedly a bit skeptical of charging different taxes for departure based on residency status, especially for premium cabins (I see the argument that residents flying in economy perhaps shouldn't be taxed as heavily, but what is the justification if a resident chooses to fly first class?)

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torontoflyer

I don't think this is a bribe or corruption loophole kinda thing. Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations exempted diplomats from any kind of tax obligation, and they just couldn't impose these 'taxes' without violating the internationally-accepted diplomatic norm....

Kevin H.

what happens if i already purchased tickets for next March? Will there be a supplement payment required online or at the airport?

Kevin

So obvious as a money grab move. But I don’t blame them. I would do the same.

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