NewsDecember 31, 2023

Maldivian Seeks Wide-Body Aircraft to Expand Its Direct International Flights

Island Aviation Services Limited invites eligible parties to submit proposals for providing one Airbus A330-220 aircraft on a dry lease basis for a preferred lease period of five years. The terms and conditions are outlined in the Request for Proposals (RFP).

This initiative is in response to the government’s decision to facilitate direct flights beyond the Maldives. Maldivian, the national carrier operated by Island Aviation, is actively seeking a dry lease for the specified Airbus A330-220.


The main goal is to enhance direct flight services outside the Maldives and expand international routes. A dry lease structure places all operational costs on the lessee, including repairs, fuel, and crew expenses.

The proposal invitation is open internationally, and the selected aircraft is expected to be delivered in the second half of the year. The proposal submission deadline is 4:00 p.m. on 24 January, following the guidelines outlined in the RFP.

The decision to seek a wide-body aircraft was prompted by the government’s announcement of direct flights facilitated by the national airline. Mohamed Shaheeb, spokesperson for the President’s Office, disclosed on 17 December that the Cabinet had approved the initiation of direct flights to key tourist destinations. Plans include the prompt procurement of two aircraft, with funding facilitated by the finance ministry. China has been prioritised as a significant destination in this strategic move.

The selected wide-body aircraft, with a passenger capacity of up to 275, is poised to facilitate direct travel to distant destinations. Maldivian had previously utilised Airbus aircraft for flights to China and South Africa, incorporating transit routes due to the absence of long-haul capable vessels.

Maldivian’s fleet comprises 14 vessels, including one Airbus A320 and two ATR aircraft. The remaining vessels are speedboats; only Airbus A320s are deployed for international travel.