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THE WORLD’S LARGEST SEA PLANE OPERATOR

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The Maldives has shown that travel to even the remotest and unspoiled archipelagos on the planet is attainable. The islands’ striking beauty, combined with luxury resorts, would not be as accessible as they are if it wasn’t for a handful of daring people. They turned their passion into a service benefiting visitors, resorts, and Maldivians alike.

 How it started

The Maldivians undertook voluntary work in order to build their own airport and in 1966 Male saw the first commercial landing.

The few adventurous travellers who came to the Maldives in the following years were limited to exploring the pristine islands close to Male. The natural and untouched beauty of the islands started to appeal an increasing number of inquisitive travellers, and the first resorts opened in 1972, all within reach of a boat from Male.

 

Maldivian Air Taxi & Trans Maldivian Airways

The beginnings of commercial aviation in the Maldives are to be undoubtedly attributed to Trans Maldivian Airways. TMA started in 1989 as a company operating a helicopter fleet under the name Hummingbird Island Helicopters. However the destination was struggling with infrastructure problems relating to the established helicopter air service, and the many resorts were still only reachable by boat, the idea of faster and more convenient travel was about to be floated. Traveling to Kuredu in 1991, Lars Erik Nielsen, recalls ‘The passengers were so sick on the voyage, I had to find a better way to travel!’ And he did. With his love of seaplanes and the much needed Scandinavian entrepreneurship, he started Maldivian Air Taxi in 1993.

From its humble beginnings in 1993 with only two aircraft, the company grew rapidly over the years where over 500,000 passengers were transferred per year. With the succession of seaplane operation in the country, Hummingbird Island Helicopters later changed the name to Hummingbird Island Airways, and the first seaplane was added to the fleet in 1997. The transition to a seaplane-only fleet was completed in 1999 and another year later, the name was changed to Trans Maldivian Airways. In February 2013 Maldivian Air Taxi (MAT) and Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) partnered with Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms under the name Trans Maldivian Airways (Pvt) Limited (TMA). In December 2017, the company was acquired by Bain Capital Private Equity, a global private equity firm headquartered out of the US, in association with Tempus Group, a Chinese tourism-focused conglomerate, from the current shareholders led by Blackstone.

Since its inception in 1989 Trans Maldivian Airways represents a synonym for connecting the Maldives islands. It is the oldest air services operator in the Maldives and has grown to become the largest seaplane operator in the world.  https://www.transmaldivian.com/

 

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Tourism Ministry sets three-year period for resorts to open

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Minister of Tourism Dr Abdullah Mausoom has revealed that the Ministry intends to automatically revoke the islands leased for resort development, if the developers fail to open the property within a three-year period.

Speaking to local newspaper, Mihaaru, the Minister revealed that this was already in the plans and a new agreement will be signed based on this principle.

Statistics by Tourism Ministry in 2020, show that over 50 resorts were still under development, with parties filing to extend the permits for 21 islands. Some of the leased islands have been listed as under development for over 10 years.

This, he said, was being implemented to urge developers to finish developing the property and begin operations. Minister Mausoom noted that most citizens living close to islands under development had raised their concerns over delays.

The Minister had previously said that Tourism sustained severe losses due to the pandemic. While the sector aims to bring in 1.3 million tourists, there are several challenges including a new mutation of the delta strain detected in the UK and limitations of the airport to cater for arrivals.

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One of the most honorable awards have been granted to the founder of the Atmosphere Resorts chains run in Maldives

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Salil Panigrahi, the founder of Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts has been awarded one of the highest privileges for an Indian citizen living abroad.

‘Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award’ was handed to Salil Panigrahi by the current UN General Assembly President, Maldives Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid. In this ceremony which was also attended by the Tourism Minister Abdullah Mausoom, Salil had received the award in the tourism service industry. Salil started business in the Maldives in 2003 by establishing Eon Resorts by partnering with other businessmen in the Maldives. Eon Maldives has been a part of developing multiple brand-name resorts in the Maldives.

In connection with Maldivian partners, Salil established Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts in the Maldives in 2012. 4 resorts have been opened until now under the Atmosphere brand name. Last year, the Atmosphere Group has established a new brand called the ‘Ozone Collection’ to run the most prestigious of resorts. 2 resorts have been opened in the Maldives under the new brand name as well.

Pravasi Bharatiya Samann award is an award bestowed by the President of India. The awards are granted to businesses run by an Indian citizen or Indian based company running a business abroad. The purpose of this award is to celebrate the services provided by Indian citizens to another country.

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JW Marriort’s new resort in Enboodhoo finolhu, foundation has been built.

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The Foundation of the new resort being built by JW Marriot in Enboodhoo finolhu, has put down its first foundation on the island.

The new resort that is being developed by JW Marriot is a luxury resort that will host 80 villas. This resort is due to open in 2023. This project is done in collaboration with Maldivian construction company Himaa Holdings and Sri Lankan company Senkan Group and Singapore’s company Hospitality Holding.

JW Marriot is America’s Marriot International’s most luxurious and top brand the company. This brand also has one of their resorts in Shaviyani atoll. JW Marriot has put up bids for some more of the resorts that have been put up for bids.

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