Maldives flagship carrier Maldivian to add two Airbus A330 aircraft

Maldives flagship carrier Maldivian has announced plans to add two Airbus A330 jets to its fleet in a bid to expand its route network.

In a statement, parent company Island Aviation Services Limited (IAS) said the new aircraft are expected to join the Maldivian fleet in about six months.

“With the addition of wide-body aircraft to our fleet, we will be in a position to expand our operations and serve more international destinations,” the statement read.

The Airbus A330 is a medium- to long-range wide-body twin-engine jet airliner capable of reaching a range of 5,000 to 13,430 kilometres. It can accommodate up to 335 passengers in a two-class layout or carry 70 tonnes (154,000 pounds) of cargo. With its first flight in 1992, there are over 1,405 units in operation today.

After the closure of Mega Maldives airline in 2017 due to financial trouble, Maldivian will become the only local airline operating wide-body jets in and out of Maldives.

Maldivian currently operates a fleet of two Dash 8-200 series aircraft, eight Dash 8-300 series aircraft, an Airbus 320, an Airbus 321 aircraft, and 11 DHC-6 Twin Otter seaplanes. The Dash 8 series aircraft are primarily used for domestic operations, whilst the two Airbus aircraft serve the airline’s international routes.

The state-owned airline operates flights to all the 12 domestic airports across the Maldives, and runs international operations to South Asian neighbours India and Bangladesh, and far Eastern countries such as Thailand and China.

The fleet expansion by the Maldives’ flagship carrier is in line with its plans to boost operations to major tourist markets such as Europe, South Africa and neighbouring Sri Lanka.

Maldivian has also expanded into seaplane operations. The airline has an all amphibian fleet of 11 DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft for its seaplane operations, and has earlier announced a major expansion.

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

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