TMA Expansion Plans to Cope with Increased Visitor Numbers
Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) plans to meet growing demand in visits to the Maldives by expanding its fleet. The airline has revealed its plans to add four more 19-seat Twin Otter aircraft by the third quarter of this year, making its total count to 60, according to The Airline Guru.
Furthermore, TMA plans to establish wheel-based operations, by introducing ATR twin-engine turboprop aircraft within 2021. While seaplanes will remain the preferred way to travel to resorts during daylight hours, having more wheeled planes will supplement TMA’s transfer service to ensure a 24/7 transfer solution to all the resorts in Maldives.
The Italian-French turboprops will be based at the new Madivaru airport in Lhaviyani Atoll, north of Male’. Completed in 2020 at the cost of USD eight million, Madivaru features a 3,940ft (1,200m)-long runway and Trans Maldivian is going to have a wheel plane hangar there.
Founded in 1989, Trans Maldivian Airlines was bought by the US-based Blackstone Group Fund in 2013 and merged with Maldivian Air Taxi, making TMA the world’s largest seaplane operator. Before the Covid pandemic, they operated an average of 150 daily flights across the Maldives, serving more than 80 resorts.