​Manta Air, UNICEF join forces to support skills development for Maldivian youth

Manta Air and UNICEF on Saturday teamed up to provide early exposure for young Maldivians interested in working in the aviation industry.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Manta Air and UNICEF, Manta Air will provided the opportunity for young people interested in working in the aviation industry to acquire basic knowledge and skills. This will be facilitated through a company wide-internship programme for young Maldivian women and men, with 12 interns set to be enrolled during the first year of the programme.

“This is another milestone for Manta Air, to embark on this mission with UNICEF to develop young people where we take pride in contributing to the local community. Our commitment from the beginning has always been to keep building the capacities needed to further develop and contribute to ensure the future growth of the industry. We believe that this initiative with UNICEF will be a key component in achieving our commitment. We are privileged to work with UNICEF and we hope that this is the start of an amazing journey,” Manta Air CEO Mohamed Khaleel said, after signing the agreement.

The UNICEF-Manta Air internship programme is a unique opportunity for young people who have a passion for the airline industry to gain first-hand experience and exposure to key areas such as flight and ground operations, aircraft engineering, safety/compliance, commercial and marketing. The individuals will get the opportunity to work in all the above disciplines and be closely supervised by experts from Manta Air.

The programme is designed with close monitoring and mentoring support from both Manta Air and UNICEF. It is structured to develop and inspire young people to pursue a career in the aviation sector, through a unique and creative learning experience.

“Globally, the annual growth in the number of young people entering the labour market exceeds the rate of growth in the number of new jobs created by the labour market. In the Maldives, a large number of young people are unemployed. We need to be creative in opening new job horizons for them,” Dr Munir Safieldin, UNICEF Representative to the Maldives, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“The partnership between UNICEF and Manta Air opens a new horizon of skills development for potential future employment in civil aviation. Manta Air will provide groups of young women and men with a structured and guided exposure to the civil aviation industry.”

The MoU between Manta Air and UNICEF also covers additional areas such as support for advocacy on children and young people’s rights and issues via Manta Air’s in-flight magazine, RAYS. Both organisations will also join hands in celebrating key events for children and youth, including the World Children’s Day and World Youth Day, to create awareness and engage the public on children’s rights and issues related to the wellbeing of children and young people.

Manta Air, the new experience in the skies of Maldives, began its operations in February.

The first two ATR 72-600s of Manta Air, secured through Nordic Aviation Capital, were delivered in late 2018, and a third aircraft was delivered in March 2019. With their dual-class configuration of 64 seats, Manta Air’s brand new ATR 72-600s have helped boost connectivity for the hospitality industry in the beautiful Maldivian atolls.

Manta Air currently operates scheduled daily service from the main Velana International Airport in Male to Dhaalu Airport, the airline’s main hub located on the island of Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu atoll, and Dharavandhoo Airport in Baa atoll.

The airline is also in the process of acquiring Twin Otter seaplanes in order to launch its seaplane service in the second quarter of 2019.

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