Maldives International Airport

Maldives International Airport is also known as Velana international airport or mle airport and the code is MLE. The airport is located on the south edge of Male atoll, It is a separate artificial island named hulhulé island in kaafu atoll.  The airport is very unique and different from the rest of the world. It is important to read the whole article, especially if you are a new visitor to the Maldives. This is a detailed guide about all the places in the airport.


The airport is interconnected to major airports throughout the world, and it is mainly used as a tourist entrance to the Maldives. Maldives Airports Company Limited, an independent business company, is responsible for its financial and administrative management

For amenities, comfort, sanitation, shopping, food & drinks, staff service, and security/immigration, Malé International Airport has been designated as a 3-Star Regional Airport.

Male International Airport provides guests with a one-of-a-kind experience, with all onward transportation by boat or seaplane. Regrettably, the terminal's infrastructure does not meet the volume of tourists visiting the local islands. As a result, the immigration and check-in areas are frequently hectic, but the food, retail, and leisure options available on the ground are pretty interesting.

Quick Navigations (Topics covered in this guide)

International Terminal

(Entrance, Immigration, baggage rollers, baggage control desk, Security scanners and exit)


Most of the time it will be short work to the arrival hall, when you get off from the flights, in some case a bus transfer is also offered. After arriving at the hall you will find the immigration counters. Sometimes the queue can be long especially on Sunday. Sunday is the busiest of all days. After passing the immigration counters you will meet the baggage rollers. There are only 3 rollers so you might have to wait for a few minutes for your baggage to arrive. On a side of the baggage rollers, you will also find a baggage control desk, in case of missing or damaged baggage, you can report to the counter directly. After collecting the baggage now you have to proceed for the scanners. This is the place your hand carries are scanned. (note* Maldives is 100% Muslim country, therefore, alcohol are not allowed to carry beyond this part of the arrival terminal). After passing the scanners you will see the exit gate. The exit gate is the area where your hotel staff will be waiting for you, there are also many hotel counters in front of the exit.

maldives international airport  arrival terminal


The departure gates are located on the left side of the arrival gate. There is a total of 4 departure gates named by numbers from 1-4. Your passport is required at the entrance, after entering you will face the security screening and baggage scanners and then straight in front of the scanners, you will find the airline check-in counter. Once you pass the scanners you cannot come out of the departure terminal, so make sure you have all your belongings with you before proceeding. After check-in from the airline counter, now you need to take the electronic staircase or lift to the 1st floor. You will find your boarding gate from the 1st floor. There will be duty-free shops, smoking area, bank, food court on this floor.

maldives International airport departure terminal

Airport Jetty


(ATM, Pharmacy, Free Wi-Fi, Luggage store, Sim Card, Lounge, Information desk, Tourist police, Foodcourt, Prayer room, smoking area, and layover hotel)

Below is the list of service available at the airport for visitors.

  • # Sim card services:

    In the Maldives at the moment there are only 2 mobile operators available (Dhiraagu and Ooreddoo) both companies has a service desk available at the airport. On the right side of the exit, you will find a written signboard of service providers.

  • # ATM & Bank:

    A branch of the Bank of Maldives ATM machines are placed in the Maldives International Airport. International cards like (Visa, Master, Amex ) are accepted by the bank of Maldives. USD withdrawals Booths are also placed at the Airport. The bank also provides currency exchange services.

  • # Layover:

    For the tourists who arrive late night, sometimes need to wait for the next day to take the domestic flights, in this case, a Hotel is available at the Maldives International Airport to spend the night. 5 minutes distance by the bus and the transfer free of charges to the hotel. The bus stop is on the right side of the arrival exit on the walkway to the domestic terminal.

  • # Lounge Service:

    A VIP lounge and wellness Massage Lounge is also available at the velana international airport in case you feel tired from a long flight needs to take a shower and relax.

    Most airlines that travel to foreign destinations from MLE have agreements with the Leeli Lounge. As a result, the lounge is usually available to first-class, business-class, and elite commuters on these airlines. Still, it does not accept payments and is not part of the Priority Pass program, which is included with several luxury travel cards such as the American Express Platinum Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

  • # Food Court

    Maldives International Airport has a food court with some international brands. The food court is located at the main exit area close to the departure gate of the airport.

  • # Information Desk:

    At the main gate, an information desk is provided for traveler inquiries. So if you dont find your agent when you arrive the airport you can also arrive to the information desk. The information desk also provides phone calls for tourists free of charge.

  • # Tourist Police:

    A police desk is located next to the wellness lounge in Main waiting Hall. Missing luggage and other issues can be reported to the tourist police. Tourist police contact Number is 332-2111 ext. 3322112

  • # Clinic and Pharmacy

    At the terminal building, there is a health care center with basic FIRST AID and minor health emergencies. Aasandha is in charge of staffing and operating the health-care facility.

    Aasandha's airport pharmacy is located next to the Bank of Maldives Airport branch ATM machine. The pharmacy is open during flight hours and stocks the majority of the popular medications. Also a Pharmacy is situated next to the main exit area.

    A particular care service is available for pregnant ladies and tiny babies at the healthcare center.

  • # Post Services:

    A branch of Maldives post is also located in the Airport.

  • # Luggage Store:

    In case you want to visit the capital Male city from the airport during your waiting time you can store your luggage in the luggage store. 6$ is charged for a normal-sized bag. The cash counter for the luggage store is located next to the departure gate.

  • # Prayer Room:

    For Muslim travelers, a Mosque is located in the waiting hall area next to the restrooms.

  • # Free WiFi:

    Free wifi is available at the domestic waiting hall, you just need to log in by using a mobile number of Facebook. The domestic terminal is within 3 minutes’ walk distance from the international terminal.

  • # Smoking Area:

    A designated area for smoking is provided at the main exit, international terminal and domestic area of the airport. Smoking in other areas is not allowed and will be fined for 35$.

  • # Shopping

    Alongside the VIP lounge, a restaurant, and an eating area, you can also go shopping at Maldives International Airport. You can find a lot of duty-free shops on the departure floor (first floor or velana international airport). These shops offer a wide range of goods and services, including perfumes, cigarettes, souvenirs, clothing items, toys, cosmetics, books, electronics, and some local Maldives brands. The souvenir shops are located in the transit and departure lounge. So, you can visit whichever seems good to you. Also, you can find a beautiful flower shop opposite the post office at Maldives velana international airport.

  • # Other Services

    For children, a play area and play park are also open at the transit area of velana international airport. In addition, the wellness club at the airport offers shower rooms, internet access, and massages for passengers feeling worn out from the hour's long journeys.

maldives airport ATM male airport velana international airport male maldives airport male airport maldives maldives international airport lounge service

List of Maldives Airports

Location Serves ICAO IATA Airport name
International airports
Gan Addu City VRMG GAN Gan International Airport
Hanimaadhoo Haa Dhaalu VRMH HAQ Hanimaadhoo International Airport
Maafaru Noonu VRDA NMF Maafaru International Airport
Hulhulé Malé VRMM MLE Velana International Airport
Domestic airports
Dharavandhoo Baa VRMD DRV Dharavandhoo Airport
Fuvahmulah Gnaviyani VRMR FVM Fuvahmulah Airport
Maavarulu Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll VRQM RUL Maavarulu Airport
Ifuru Raa, Noonu VREI IFU Ifuru Airport
Kaadedhdhoo Gaafu Dhaalu VRMT KDM Kaadedhdhoo Airport
Kadhdhoo Laamu VRMK KDO Kadhdhoo Airport
Kooddoo Gaafu Alifu VRMO GKK Kooddoo Airport
Kudahuvadhoo Dhaalu VRMU DDD Dhaalu Airport
Maamigili Alifu Dhaalu VRMV VAM Villa International Airport Maamigili
Thimarafushi Thaa VRNT TMF Thimarafushi Airport
Kulhudhuffushi Haa Dhaalu VRBK HDK Kulhudhuffushi Airport
Madivaru Lhaviyani LMV Madivaru Airport
Funadhoo Shaviyani VRCF FND Funadhoo Airport
Hoarafushi Haa Alifu Atoll VRAH HRF Hoarafushi Airport
maldives domestic transfer routes

Domestic Terminal

(Check-in counters, boarding, and boarding gate)

Maldives International Airport is a combined airport for domestic and international flights. The domestic terminal is located within 3 minutes walking distance on the right side of the international arrival gate. To check the dmoestic flights schedule click FIS and to book Domestic flights click here

Maldives is one the dispersed country in the world and all the islands are surrounded by seawater, therefore a domestic flight transfer is required for many visitors. At the entrance of the domestic terminal, you can find easily the check-in counters. The domestic transfer is very busy and only very flights are available at the moment, therefore prior booking is required if you have to travel by domestic flights. Straight in front of the check-in counter, you can find the boarding gate, where your hand carries will be scanned before boarding. There are 16 airports in different regions of the Maldives. To the most distant airport (GAN) it takes 1hour and 25 minutes. The domestic arrival hall is located in the same building next to the departure. Again in most cases, it will be a short walk from flights to the domestic terminal where you will meet the baggage rollers.

velana international airport

Domestic Transfers

(Taxi, Speedboats, seaplane, and Domestic flights)

In Maldives Airport you can find three kinds of public transport; public water transport, land transport and public transport by air. So, choose wisely which one suits your budget and needs.


Only for the visitors who stay in Male or Hulhumale city. For the tourists staying in private resorts need other modes of transportation.

Water Transfers:

Only for the tourists who stay in close by or Male atoll islands and resorts. For far distance resorts and islands, another mode of transportation is needed.

At Male International Airport, a 24-hour ferry service is available to transport passengers to Male city. It takes a maximum of approximately 15 minutes to drop passengers at at the ferry terminal via ferry. From ferry terminals, you will have to take taxis which will be right there when you step off of ferries.

Book Speedboat transfers

Maldives International Airport operates the biggest seaplane terminal platform in the world. Seaplane is one of the most convenient ways for far distant resorts as it can take off from Maldives International Airport and land directly to resorts. Tourists who take domestic flights are still required to take additional speedboat transfer from Domestic airport to the Hotels/Resorts. Private charters are also available.
Seaplane counters are also located in front of the international arrival gate. After check-in the baggage, a bus transfer will be offered by the airline.

Domestic flights:

The Male International Airport is interconnected to all the domestic flights in the Maldives. Trans Maldivian Airways and the Maldivian Air Taxi are the two leading domestic flight operators in the Maldives, which connect flights directly from Male International Airport to the rest of the Maldives.

The Male International Airport is always bustling with tourists, and usually, there are no domestic flights available at the moment. So, make sure you book a domestic flight before the landing. Otherwise, you will have to wait for the next set of flights.

maldives main airport

Driving Directions

To reach the Male International Airport, you must head south to the Chaandhanee Magu by turning left on the Majeedhee Magu Road. Take a right to the Boduthaakurufanu Magu and then go to the Midhili Magu road. From there, you would have to take the final left cut to the airport road. This road will take you directly to the drop-off sea.

mle airport

Things to do at the maldives airport:


The two types of activities available at the airport and they are day visits to resorts and city tours to the capital Male city. If you want to kill the domestic waiting time, these tours are the best things to do at the Male International Airport. Capital island Male city is located next to the airport and only takes 10 minutes transfer. City tour and day visit resorts  

Book City Tour
maldives international airport

Airport Free Wifi

Male international airport provides free wifi for all travelers, you can connect to wifi using your facebook or gmail for 1 hour. To connect free wifi, switch on your wifi from the device and select "Airport wifi". it will ask you to choose a login options shown as in the image below. you can enter login details and you will be connected.

male international airport wifi

Special Assistance Passengers

If you need wheelchairs or other special assistance, the terminal services staff will accompany you from the time you enter the airport to the time you check-in and board your flight. If you need to send your child (aged 6 to 12) on an unaccompanied minor flight, simply notify your airline.The Customer Service agents will follow him or her through the whole check-in process and before the flight takes off. Similarly, if your children must travel alone, simply notify the airline, and workers will accompany them to the airport.

Check-in and Boarding - If you need special assistance, our Terminal Services staff will accompany you to assist you with your wheelchair and luggage, and our Customer Services staff will escort you through the airport formalities. The staff will check you in as soon as you arrive at the check-in desk, without making you wait in line. When it comes to flight boarding, staff will always put you first.

Most Frequent Questions

How to get to maldives?

Maldives currently do not have direct flights from many countries, to get to maldives your can connect the marked destinations on this map.

How to get to maldives

How long is the flight to maldives?

The flight time to Maldives depends on the destinations, here you can find some of the destinations fly timings.

How long is the flight to maldives flights to male maldives

How will you find us?

Our Guide will wait for at international arrival gate with the compnay sign board. In case you do not find the guide use the below diagram to locate airport help desk, which is next to the arrival gate on the left side. Request the help desk to contact us on +9607794332 and wait there until our guide arrives.

maldives flights from us

Is Velana airport the same as Male airport?

Malé (MLE) Velana International Airport, formerly known as Malé Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, is the bigger Maldives' two international airports. It serves Malé Atoll, located in the Maldive's capital Malé.

How many international airports are in the Maldives?

The Maldives has five international airports. The most important airports are Velana and Gan. The airports of Hanimaadhoo, Maamigili, and Maafaru are more like semi-international airports. They were given the International classification since they fly to Sri Lanka and India, two of their bordering nations.

What is included in the VIP Lounge of Male International Airport?

What Kind of Amenities Can You Find at a Luxury Airport Lounge? All-inclusive facilities, plush seating, complimentary snacks and beverages, TVs, newspapers, magazines, and more are available at luxury airport lounges. Before your next flight, refresh yourself in their private toilets, showers, and fitness center.

How can we get to Male city from Maldives International Airport?

The boat ride from the Maldives International airport to Male city takes around 10 minutes. Male's airport ferry dock is near the Hulhumale' Ferry Port (not inside). When returning to the airport, seek the ticket desk located directly across the street from the pier.

How can I get from Male International Airport to south Male atoll?

• Male Airport. 50m ferry journey with our Speedboat to Maafushi, South Male Atoll.

How to get from Male International Airport to Hulhumale?

Without a car, the best way to go from Male Airport (MLE) to Hulhumalé is via bus, which takes 10 minutes and costs $2. The bus takes 10 minutes to get from Male International Airport to Hulhumale Main Terminal, including transfers and runs every 30 minutes.