Maldives’ new airline, Manta Air, will take to the skies from October with four seaplanes and three 72-seater ATR planes to destinations including Dhaalu Atoll, Raa Atoll, Baa Atoll and Thaa Atoll from the main Velana International Airport.
Owned by Reollo Investments, Manta Air is expected to serve the group’s 20-plus resorts around the country, including the Kandima Maldives Resort and the regional domestic airport in Dhaalu Atoll, as well as other resorts on the four aforementioned atolls.
Reollo Investments COO, Mohamed Khaleel, told TTG Asia: “We are launching this service because the current domestic airline is not up to standard. We want to offer better connectivity and better service (to our clients).
“We are considering reducing the number of seats per aircraft to make it more comfortable for passengers. We are also looking into providing a business class segment,” he added.
Abdulla Ghiyas, president of the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators, welcomes the entry of Manta Air as “more players” are needed amid stronger competition that a growing supply of resorts brings.
Suresh Dissanayake, assistant vice president – sales & marketing at Adaaran Resorts, hopes that the new airline will drive more competitive rates for Maldives holiday packages.
Currently, national carrier Maldivian and Villa Air – which is owned by business tycoon Qasim Ibrahim to service his resorts with a total of 2,000 beds – are the two domestic carriers in the Maldives. Seaplane services are provided by Maldivian, as well as privately-owned Trans Maldivian Airways.