The newest aircraft of the Maldives’ national carrier, Maldivian, arrived in the archipelago on Saturday, increasing the fleet to total 21 aircrafts.
The plane arrived from New Zealand and was welcomed with a water salute as it landed in Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA). Its arrival was celebrated with a special ceremony that was attended by top officials of Maldivian’s operator Island Aviation Services (IAS) and some ministers.
Speaking at the airport’s VIP lounge afterwards, IAS’ Managing Director Abdul Haris stated that the airline’s newest addition is a Dash 8 with a capacity of 50 passengers. With the aircraft, the number of Dash 8 flights used for domestic operations has increased to total nine.
Minister of Tourism Moosa Zameer lauded the progress brought to Maldivian during incumbent President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s regime, highlighting that the advancements to IAS is part of the president’s tourism expansion plans under his vision to boost the archipelago’s economy.
He noted that Maldivian’s fleet had skyrocketed from six aircrafts to 20 under the current government with seaplane operations also commenced, while nearly 100 pilots and engineers are now employed at IAS.
“It brings great ease to locals as well. As we all know, Addu [Gan] International Airport is also being completed and operating flights out of the Maldives,” added the minister, rejoicing the improvements in Civil Aviation in the nation.
Maldivian operates several domestic flights as well as international operations to South Asian neighbour India, Bangladesh, Thailand and China. With the latest addition to its fleet, Maldivian now boasts nine Dash 8 aircrafts, two airbus crafts and ten seaplanes.