Maldivian (Q2, Malé), the national airline of the Maldives, is to expand its seaplane operations to connect four southern atolls in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

This follows the signing of an agreement on October 3, 2020, between Maldivian’s parent company Island Aviation Services (Q2, Malé) and Addu International Airport Pvt Ltd, which operates Gan Island, to commence seaplane operations between Addu City and Huvadhu Atoll. According to the agreement, the operation will connect Addu City, Fuvahmulah City, Gaafu Alifu Atoll and Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

According to the ch-aviation fleets ownership module, Maldivian currently owns ten DHC-6-300 seaplanes and leases another one from Unity Group.

Maldivian seaplane operations started in 2014, catering to the tourism industry with scheduled and chartered flights, according to the company website.

The new operation would start in a matter of weeks following the renovation of a seaplane terminal at Gan Island, said Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail. He said it was not expected to be profitable in the short-run, but was aimed at fulfilling the government’s development goals for the southern Maldives.

Tourism Minister Abdulla Mausoom said the region currently had about 2,400 tourism beds, which was not a viable number for flight operations. However, it was hoped the venture would stimulate tourism in the area.

The operation of seaplanes at the airport was first contracted to Trans Maldivian Airways (TMW, Malé), but the company was not successful in executing the project, according to local news reports.