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More than 140 private jets swamped Velana International Airport within one week as international tycoons and celebrities arrived in the Maldives to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.

The peak tourism season in the Maldives is the duration of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, usually between November and April. The flood of visitors that arrive in the island nation for the Christmas and New Year vacations often boast a number of magnates and celebrities.

An official of Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) noted that this holiday season brought more jets than estimated, and they were larger in size than previous years.

The company had estimated 12 private jets would land daily at the airport during the week leading to the New Year. However, MACL’s records show that the number stood at 17, with a total of 38 private jets landing in the airport on January 1, 2018.

The airport had previously faced difficulties over lack of sufficient area to accommodate all the private jets that arrive in time for the New Year, which had forced jets to be diverted to some domestic airports and neighboring countries for parking. However, the recently developed northern apron has significantly increased parking accommodation for private jets. It has the capacity to accommodate 30 jets simultaneously.

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