The Maldives will introduce a new departure tax on all flights departing in January 2022, with higher fees for foreigners, business, and first class passengers. A new airport development fee will also be added for departures from Velana International Airport.
Maldives Departure Tax – How Much? When Does It Start?
A new Airport Taxes and Fees Act was signed into law on Sunday by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih after passing the People’s Majlis (the unicameral legislative body of the Maldives). The new tax impacts not only Velana International Airport (MLE), but every airport in the archipelago nation.
The fee schedule, set to be introduced on January 1, 2022, will be according too the following schedule:
- Economy Class
- 60USD – foreigners
- 12USD – Maldivians
- Business Class
- 60USD – foreigners + Maldivians
- First Class
- 90USD – foreigners + Maldivians
- Private Jets
- 120USD – foreigners + Maldivians
Despite lower prices for Maldivians traveling in economy class, airlines will be tasked with collecting the departure tax. Airlines must remit payment to the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) by the 28th of each month, with the taxes payable only in USD.
MLE passengers will also face an additional “Airport Development Fee” which currently stands at $25. An “Airport Service Charge” (coded as Maldives Airport Fee and also currently $25) will be phased out by the end of 2022.
It is no surprise that the Maldives would attempt to squeeze more money out of its foreign tourists. Who is really going to protest and extra $60-90 after coming all that way? I’m certainly not going to celebrate a new tax and note this makes the Maldives less inviting, not more inviting, especially if your trip requires 2-4 internal flights to get to your resort.
That said, the Maldives is sinking. Literally. I don’t blame the island nation for looking for more funding to find a new capital, as Male (the most densely populated capital city in the world) will likely be underwater along with the rest of the nation in less than a century without technological innovation and investment.
Will the new Maldives departure tax deter you from visiting the Maldives?