Maldivian Aero Welcomes Fourth ATR Aircraft

Maldivian, the national carrier of the Maldives, announced yesterday the arrival of its newest addition to the fleet, a fourth Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) 42-600 aircraft.

The aircraft, a French-Italian model, touched down at Velana International Airport at approximately 5:10 p.m. local time. Piloted by Captains Mohamed Mubah and Ali Yanish, along with engineer Ahmed Abdul Latheef, it completed its journey from Toulouse, France, to the Maldives. Upon its arrival in the capital, the new addition was greeted with a traditional water salute, signifying a warm welcome to its new home.

A special ceremony commemorating the occasion was held at the airport, attended by key dignitaries, including Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Mohamed Ameen and Minister of Cities, Local Governance, and Public Works Adam Shareef Umar.

Minister Ameen expressed his delight at the expansion of Maldivian Aero’s fleet and highlighted its positive impact on the country’s aviation sector.

“Today marks a joyous moment for our aviation industry,” stated Minister Ameen. “The addition of this new aircraft underscores our commitment to enhancing air travel services for domestic and international passengers. The government remains steadfast in its dedication to the welfare of Maldivian citizens, with air travel accessibility being a top priority.”

Minister Ameen further disclosed plans to procure a wide-body aircraft to facilitate international flights, with agreements expected to be finalised soon. The anticipated 275-passenger aircraft is projected to join the fleet by the end of the year, further expanding Maldivian Aero’s operational reach.

In his address, Ibrahim Iyas, Managing Director of Maldivian’s parent company, Island Aviation, acknowledged the significant investment made in acquiring the ATR aircraft. Despite the financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Iyas expressed gratitude for the support received from the Ministry of Finance, noting the company’s resilience in overcoming adversity.

“The addition of modern aircraft to our fleet represents a significant enhancement in service quality,” stated Iyas. “We are committed to providing our passengers with an unparalleled travel experience, and these new aircraft enable us to achieve that goal. Data already indicates a notable improvement in our on-time performance since the introduction of the first three ATRs.”

Looking ahead, Iyas revealed plans for further fleet expansion, with an order of three additional ATRs already in progress. This strategic move aims to transition Maldivian Aero to an all-ATR fleet for domestic operations.

Alessandro Luzi, Managing Director of ATR’s subsidiary company Eastern Support (AES), expressed delight at the collaboration with Maldivian Aero, underscoring the new ATR aircraft’s advanced features and modern amenities.

With the addition of the fourth ATR aircraft, Maldivian Aero’s fleet currently comprises 15 aircraft, which include an Airbus A320, multiple Dash aircraft, two 42-seater ATRs, and two 72-seater ATRs.

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