Maldivian to spend USD 60 mln to expand fleet

The national airline, Maldivian, has signed an agreement to purchase three ATR aircraft.

The airline currently uses DASH brand aircraft by Bombardier company. However, this time, the airline will be spending USD 60 million to purchase two ATR 72-600 and one ATR 600-42 aircraft. The price tag on each plane is around USD 20 million, and the total is equivalent to approximately MVR 927 million.

AVAS has learned that Maldivian will be purchasing the aircraft under a finance leasing model. Maldivian said the three aircraft would be received within the year.

Maldivian's Managing Director Mohamed Mihad said the purchase of the three aircraft is an important move under efforts to expand the airline's fleet. He said that the agreement signing shows airlines' commitment to improving services and attests to the bright future of the aviation industry.

'Over the past 40 or so years, it has been proven that the ATR model planes are the best fit for island nations such as the Maldives. With this agreement, we are proud that we can participate in the efforts to advance airline services,' Mahid said.

ATR powers its aircraft into a sustainable future with PW127XT engines. The engine series enables a 20 percent reduction in maintenance costs and a three percent improvement in fuel efficiency and consumes over 40 percent less fuel than other regional jets.

Maldivian's current fleet consists of 10 DASH-8 aircraft and two models of Airbus A-320. Four of the aircraft have been grounded for a while, causing challenges in keeping up the airline's services. The airline has had to charter aircraft from other airlines to keep up with the demand.