Maldivian, the national carrier of the Maldives, acquired their first jet plane a week back, an Airbus 320, which will join the fleet at the end of October 2012. Maldivian is now preparing to launch non-stop flights between Maldives and India (Mumbai-BOM and Chennai-MAA) from mid-November 2012.
© Clément Alloing
Mumbai and Chennai do not have direct connections to Male at this moment, so this is a a great move on their part to make a direct inroads into these two airports. At the moment, the Air India flight to Male flies via Bangalore (BLR) and Trivandrum (TRV), so this will cut down the flight time to a direct 3 hours flight from Mumbai to Male from the circuitous flight route at this moment.
The Maldivian aircraft, as per their website, will be configured in 14 Business, 24 Premium Economy and 114 Economy configuration. The schedule of the flights is:
Male – Chennai – Dhaka eff 18NOV12
Q2550 MLE0700 – 0940MAA1040 – 1340DAC (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
Q2551 DA1440 – 1640MAA1740 – 1920MLE 320 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
Male – Mumbai eff 15NOV12
Q2710 MLE0830 – 1200BOM (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
Q2711 BOM1300 – 1530MLE (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
Now, on the occasion, Maldivian has announced special fares from Mumbai and Chennai (and also Dhaka, which will be a continuation leg from Chennai). Mumbai – Male round trip priced at about Rs. 19,500, which may be expensive by standards of flying time (A flight to Singapore costs cheaper, right?), but by Maldivian standards, where hotels and everything else is expensive, this looks cheap.