Revolutionising Maldives’ domestic flying experience, Manta Air launches brand

Manta Air, the new flying experience in the skies of the Maldives, has officially launched its brand.

A special ceremony was held at the main convention centre of Dharubaaruge in capital Male Thursday evening where guests had the chance to experience Manta Air’s hospitality first-hand. The brand was officially launched by Maldives’ Vice President Faisal Naseem.

Manta Air CEO Mohamed Khaleel told the attendees that the arrival of Manta Air comes amidst the increased demand by the hospitality industry to have a reliable and seamless air transfer service. The airline will effectively address existing challenges and issues faced by industry partners, he added.

“Manta Air comes at a time where the local domestic aviation industry is in need of a more competitive and healthier competition. At Manta Air, our aim is to raise the standards of the domestic aviation industry by providing the best experience in the skies for our passengers and through increased connectivity in a structured manner throughout the Maldives while also upholding to our principles of maintaining a reliable and seamless service,” Khaleel said.

Khaleel stressed that Manta Air is proud to have 80 percent of employees represented by locals. Manta Air will continue to provide more opportunities for locals who wish to pursue a career in the aviation industry, he said.

Manta Air also unveiled its crew uniforms, which sport a lighter, fresher theme along with vibrant images of manta rays.

Maldivian Idol season 3 runner-up Mariyam Maeesha and local artist and lead singer of the Kabans Arshad Ali were also announced as brand ambassadors. Along with the brand ambassadors’ announcement, Manta Air also debuted its official brand song Sky High, which was performed by the brand ambassadors.

Manta Air welcomed the first aircraft to its fleet early this month.

The first addition to Manta Air’s fleet is the latest generation of ATR aircraft, the ATR 72-600 series, which benefits from the widest cabin in the turboprop market, new ergonomic design for greater comfort, new seats, and wider overhead bins with 30 percent more roller bags stowage. They are also the lowest seat per mile cost aircraft on the 70 seat segment, thanks to significantly lower fuel and maintenance costs compared to its competitors.

Manta Air has gone the extra mile to customise seats to provide the best comfort with additional legroom.

Manta Air is set to start its operations to Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu atoll early next month.

The second ATR 72-600 aircraft will join Manta Air’s fleet in mid-December, allowing the airline to expand its operations to Dharavandhoo in Baa atoll and Thimarafushi in Thaa atoll.

In addition to turboprop aircraft for domestic operations, Manta Air is also in the process of acquiring Twin Otter seaplanes.

Manta Air was founded in 2016 as a joint venture between Deep Blue Private Limited, a local company with multiple investments in tourism, and tourism pioneer Umar Mohamed Maniku. The company was created to cater to the need for more air travel options and to support the rapid developments in the aviation industry in light of the development of new airports and the fast paced expansion of resorts and guesthouses across the country.

Maldives flagship carrier Maldivian and business tycoon Gasim Ibrahim’s Villa Air are the only two airlines currently active in the Maldives. Seaplane services are provided by Maldivian as well as privately run Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA), which has the largest seaplane fleet in the world.

Launching of a new domestic airline comes amidst increased efforts by the government to expand the air transport network in the Maldives.

Over a million tourists from across the globe visit the Indian Ocean island nation every year to holiday in one of the 130 plus resorts and over 400 guesthouses located in all corners of the country. The multi-billion dollar tourism industry, which is the country’s main economic activity, relies heavily on the domestic transport infrastructure, especially air travel.

Maldives, the most dispersed country on the planet with 1,192 islands spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres, already has 11 airports, including three international airports. The government has contracted both local and international companies to develop additional domestic airports across the archipelago in a bid to boost tourism.

Meanwhile, a USD 800 million mega project has been launched to expand and upgrade the main Velana International Airport. The project involves building a brand new runway, an international passenger terminal and a seaplane terminal as well as other support facilities, including a fuel farm that can store 45 million litres and a 120,000 tonne cargo facility.

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