Maldivian (Q2, Malé) will add two unspecified widebody aircraft to launch direct services to destinations in China, Europe, and South Africa as it aims to capture a larger share of the inbound leisure market.

Recently elected President Mohamed Muizzu approved the plan during a cabinet session on December 17, 2023. While the statement of the President's Office does not outline any induction dates, the plan was included in the agenda for the first 14 weeks of Muizzu's term.

In early 2023, the carrier tendered for the dry-lease of two A330-200s, although the results were never announced.

Currently, almost half of inbound tourists arrive in the Maldives with connecting flights, largely through the Gulf hubs. By launching new routes to China, Europe, and South Africa - the main origin markets currently served through those transfer airports - the state-owned carrier will attempt to increase the share of tourists arriving directly. The ch-aviation capacities module shows that Maldivian is only the eleventh carrier at Malé by weekly scheduled international capacity with a 3% market share. The largest international carriers at the airport are Emirates, Qatar Airways, and IndiGo Airlines.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows that Maldivian currently operates a single narrowbody aircraft - an A320-200 - used on services to India and Bangladesh. It also operates turboprops used for domestic flights (one ATR42-600, two ATR72-600s, eleven DHC-6-300s, one DHC-8-200, one DHC-8-Q200, and seven DHC-8-Q300s). It has never operated an in-house widebody in its history, although it was in talks with the previous administration about launching a new long-haul airline.

The airline did not respond to ch-aviation's request for added comment.