Discussions underway to form JV to operate national airline

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that discussions were underway to establish a joint venture between national airline Maldivian and a foreign company.

Speaking at a press conference held Wednesday at the President's Office, President Solih said the government wishes to enhance the airline's operations by forming a joint venture with a foreign party. However, he did not disclose which companies the government is in discussion with, although the president did confirm the two companies are middle eastern companies.

The president said in addition to forming a joint venture, the government is working to enhance the airline's seaplane operations. Noting the importance of a national airline, the president said there are several benefits of having a national airline and therefore believes the airline must continue to be in operation even if it means providing government subsidies to run the airline. However, he did not go into further detail.

The president said the airline was running on a loss when he became president in 2018. The COVID-19 pandemic caused further strain on the airline, and it continues to struggle to overcome the challenges it faces, said the president.