RIU Hotels Maldives, Manta Air celebrate seaplane service launch
RIU Hotels Maldives joined hands with Manta Air on Tuesday to celebrate the start of the game changing local airline’s seaplane service in the Maldives.
After an exhilarating journey from Velana International Airport, Manta Air’s first official seaplane flight touched down on the azure waters surrounding Hotel RIU Atoll and Hotel RIU Palace Maldivas, the launch customer of the airline’s seaplane service, to a warm welcome Tuesday afternoon.
A cocktail celebration was held to celebrate the launch. Officials from Manta Air, travel media and other stakeholders attended the function.
With the addition of the Manta Air’s seaplane service, guests travelling to the two properties operated by RIU Hotels now have two options to reach their destination: a 40-minute domestic flight to Dhaalu Airport, followed by a 10-minute speedboat ride, or a 40-minute seaplane flight direct to the resort.
The four-star Hotel RIU Atoll offers 264 villas, 36 of which are suites over the Indian Ocean. The rooms are equipped with all the best comforts such as a minibar, air conditioning, safe box and satellite TV. Hotel Riu Atoll provides guests with a pool with swim-up bar and impressive views of the sea, and another pool for children.
Connected to Hotel RIU Atoll by a walkway surrounded by a lagoon, the five-star Hotel Riu Palace Maldivas offers 176 villas, 72 of which are overwater suites. The rooms — some of which has Junior Suites — are equipped with minibars, drinks dispensers, kettles, air conditioning and satellite tv, amongst many other facilities. Guests at Hotel RIU Palace Maldivas are recommended to take advantage of the Hotel RIU Atoll’s facilities to enjoy massages and beauty treatments in the spa, water sports such as diving, kayaking and paddle surf, and the entertainment programmes full of shows and live music.
Manta Air on Sunday launched the first scheduled seaplane service in the 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.
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.