TMA crowned World’s Leading Seaplane Operator at World Travel Awards

Maldives’ main seaplane operator Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) has been crowned World’s Leading Seaplane Operator at the 24th annual World Travel Awards.

The award was given at the red carpet event that took place Saturday evening at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay in Vietnam.

TMA had earlier won the award in 2014 and 2015.

TMA started in 1989 as a company operating a helicopter fleet under the name Hummingbird Island Helicopters.

Eight years later, the name was changed to Hummingbird Island Airways, as the first seaplane was added to the fleet. The transition to a seaplane-only fleet was completed in 1999. A year later, the name Trans Maldivian Airways came to be, and still today represents a synonym for connecting the Maldives islands.

In February 2013, TMA and its sole competitor Maldivian Air Taxi (MAT) partnered with Blackstone, . A private equity fund managed by Blackstone on behalf of its private equity investors acquired a controlling interest in the two companies.

In February 2013, Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms, acquired controlling stakes in TMA and its sole competitor Maldivian Air Taxi (MAT), and merged the two under the TMA brand.

TMA currently operates an all-amphibian fleet of 49 aircraft — one DHC-6-100, one DHC-6-200, 44 DHC-6-300s, and three DHC-6-400s — on regular flights throughout the Maldivian archipelago, making it the largest seaplane operator in the world.

In 2016, TMA operated over 120,000 flights, transferring close to a million passengers, including 80,000 residents.

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

World Travel Awards is known as the Oscars of the travel industry, and is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

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