FlyMe (Maldives) (VP, Malé) will launch seaplane operations in August, soon after a new terminal opens at Malé Velana International Airport, the island nation's main international gateway.

Besides its two asphalt runways, Malé also has an adjacent waterdrome and four water runways. But, once opened, the new USD50 million Seaplane Terminal will have twice the capacity of the existing airport terminal.

Owned by Villa Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the Maldives, Flyme has ordered four DHC-6 floatplanes to be delivered in October, according to the Maldives Business Review.

Abdulla Nashid, the carrier's managing director, commented that the company's maintenance crews prefer the Series 300 model over the Viking Air 400 model due to its reliability.

Using a leased fleet of two ATR72-500s and one ATR42-500, Flyme provides scheduled flights to domestic airports throughout the islands.

Its new seaplane operations will have to compete with other operators such as Manta Air (NR, Malé), which recently revealed plans to buy seaplanes to reach around 20 resorts. Trans Maldivian Airways (HUM, Malé) is another competitor, which currently has a fleet of fifty-two Twin Otters.

Nashid said he was not overly worried about the competition, explaining that the market was not saturated due to the fact that the operators tend to fly to different islands and resorts. His only concern was a likely shortage of pilots.