Last week, Maldivian, the state-owned flag carrier of the Maldives, announced that it will add service from its hub in Male to Mumbai and Chennai. The flights will operate 3 times weekly.
The flights will commence along with Maldivian’s new Dhaka route in November, when Maldivian’s leased A320 enters revenue service. The aircraft will be configured in a 14 business class/138 economy class seating configuration.
The flights to Mumbai will operate on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, while the flights to Chennai will operate on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Mumbai and Chennai will be Maldivian’s second and third gateways into India – the carrier already serves Trivandrum twice daily from Male with its existing fleet of Bombardier Dash 8 Q200/Q300 turboprops. These aircraft do not have the necessary range to fly to a destination further than Trivandrum in India, prompting the order of the larger aircraft.
The only other carrier which serves India-Maldives sector nonstop is Air India, which serves Male from Bangalore and Trivandrum. Significant competition also comes from SriLankan Airlines, which handles a lot of connecting traffic on this route through its Colombo hub.
Service to Male is also expected by Spicejet in the near future – it is unclear whether SG plans to use its 737s or its Q400s on these upcoming services.