Manta Air begins Maldives first scheduled seaplane service

Game changing local airline Manta Air on Sunday launched the first scheduled seaplane service in Maldives, bringing another revolutionary experience to the skies of Maldives.

A purpose-built seaplane terminal at the Maldives’ main Velana International Airport was inaugurated Sunday afternoon. Moosa Solih, the acting Managing Director of airport operator Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), opened the airline’s dedicated terminal.

Manta Air also operated its first commercial seaplane flight on Sunday, taking an exhilarating 40-minute journey south of capital Male to Hotel Riu Atoll aboard one of its Twin Otter aircraft.

Manta Air had brought in four DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft to begin its seaplane operations. The airline is set to welcome another six to its seaplane fleet by year-end.

All of Manta Air’s DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft are fitted with the latest Garmin G950 NXi next generation integrated flight deck avionics combined with a weather radar. Garmin G950 equipment includes dual core modern processing power, providing crew with immediate access to flight plan data and weather radar information.

Manta Air’s seaplane operations set a new benchmark for the seaplane service standards in the Maldives, as it follows the high standards already set by Manta Air’s domestic flight operations.

The arrival of Manta Air has already been a game changer in the domestic aviation industry, removing the fears of flight uncertainty for passengers flying in the Maldives, and setting new standards in service excellence along the way with pre-published schedules and a tailored approach to provide an amazing experience to all passengers.

For its seaplane service, Manta Air will publish monthly schedules — a first in the Maldives’ seaplane sector as well as in the world. Passengers will receive confirmed flight timings along with their hotel confirmation.

In addition to the seaplane service, Manta Air utilises three brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft to operate domestic flights to Dhaalu Airport, located on the island of Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu atoll, and Dharavandhoo Airport, located on the island of Dharavandhoo in Baa atoll, from the Maldives’ main Velana International Airport.

Manta Air’s venture into seaplane operations comes, as a new seaplane base at the main Velana International Airport nears completion.

As part of an ongoing USD 800 million mega project to expand and upgrade the Maldives’ main gateway, construction of a new seaplane terminal kicked off in January 2018. The four-storey terminal, which will be equipped with over 80 docking platforms and other support facilities, is expected to come into operation by the end of the year.

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

Cover photo: Abdulla Sinadh, Aviators Maldives

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