Mega Maldives Air (LV, Malé) has announced it will embark on a staff retrenchment exercise following a sharp decline in Chinese tourist traffic.

V news reports that up to sixty-five employees out its current 400 will be retrenched while positions for fifty, due to have been filled this year, will be put on hold.

“The slow-down in China was one that MEGA partly foresaw and planned for in late 2015," a statement said. "Therefore, an extensive diversification of our route network was planned for this year, which included South Africa, India, Thailand and Europe. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, many of which were outside of our control, we have had to either reconsider or delay these routes.”

Located just south of India, the Maldives is a tourist-dependent economy. This year, however, one of its key sources of tourist traffic, China, has seen a decline of almost 11%.

Using a fleet of three B767-300(ER)s, Mega Maldives focuses exclusively on the China market serving Beijing Capital, Chengdu, Hong Kong Int'l, and Shanghai Pudong. About 30% of all China-Maldives traffic travels with the carrier, it said.