With the addition of two new ATR aircraft to Maldivian fleet on Wednesday, the quality of the airline’s domestic operations will go up significantly, Managing Director Mohammad Mihad said.
The two ATR planes brought by the airline to replace their existing DASH-8 fleet landed at Velana International Airport Wednesday afternoon. Vice President Faisal Naseem hosted a ceremony at the airport to inaugurate the two planes.
Here’s a look at some of the new arrivals:
- Two 70-seater ATR-72 planes
- Another ATR plane to be brought in later this month
Mihad told local media that since they are completely new, the issue of flight delays will be solved significantly. He added that the airline’s flights will be assured to fly on time with these planes.
“With the new planes, there will not be a lot of technical glitches, but very few. Now that the DASH planes are old, there are a lot of technical issues and delays caused by the planes. With these new planes, we will be able to take off on time,” he said.
“The quality of domestic flights will go up significantly. Operations will be faster.”
‘Repair costs can be saved’
Mihad said the repair of DASH planes is currently on the rise. However, with the new boats, these costs can be drastically reduced, he said. He described it as a good investment.
“In the long run, maintenance costs will be low. DASH series planes aren’t manufactured now, so it’s expensive because we have to buy spares for them via third parties. That issue has also been resolved,” Mihad said.
Maldivian had previously said that with ATR planes:
- Maintenance costs to be reduced by 20%
- Oil spending to fall by 3%
The airline plans to sell its existing DASH series planes. The entire fleet will be changed to ATR planes through a plan of seven years.