Maldivian expands seaplane fleet, adds 13th aircraft

Maldives flagship carrier Maldivian has expanded its seaplane fleet, bringing in a 13th aircraft.

The new Twin Otter aircraft landed at the Maldives main Velana International Airport Tuesday morning. It will be fitted with floats before it enters into service.

Maldivian took delivery of two Twin Otter aircraft early last month as well.

Maldivian has recently announced a major expansion of its seaplane operations, with plans to add four Twin Otter aircraft by the first quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, the airline has entered into an agreement with Quest Aircraft Company to begin a new seaplane operation that uses a fleet comprising the Japanese-owned company’s Kodiak aircraft. An initial order of four Kodiak 100 aircraft has been placed to kickstart the new programme.

However, it is yet unclear whether the joint venture will operate as part of Maldivian’s existing seaplane operation or as an independent entity.

Maldivian began seaplane operations in 2014 and has since expanded its seaplane fleet. The airline currently flies to more than six resorts in the Maldives.

Seaplane is the preferred mode of transport between the main Velana International Airport and dozens of resorts, especially those located in the outer atolls.

In addition to Maldivian, privately run Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) operates a fleet of 49 seaplanes, making it the largest seaplane operator in the world.

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