The government of Maldives has denied having already decided to lease the new seaplane terminal at Malé airport to Trans Maldivian Airways (Malé) after other operators voiced their concerns, online newspaper Avas has reported.

The new terminal is still under construction and the government has yet to decide on how it will be operated. It is constructed for USD40 million by China's BUCG Company. It was originally due to open in September 2019 but is expected to launch shortly.

"No decisions have been made to lease the terminal to a foreign company. We will hold discussions among the government before coming to a decision," Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer said, responding to questions in the parliament.

The Maldives is the world's largest seaplane market with multiple carriers operating flights to island resorts, which do not have access to an airport. Trans Maldivian is the largest airline in the country and also the largest seaplane operator in the world with a total of fifty-three float-equipped DHC-6s in -100, -200, -300, and -400 variants.

Maldivian's seaplane fleet includes eleven DHC-6-300s, while Manta Air is in the process of adding ten such aircraft. Both airlines - contrary to Trans Maldivian - also operate gear-equipped aircraft. The fourth domestic airline, FlyMe (Maldives), does not operate any seaplanes.