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Trans Maldivian Airways: Maldives Seaplanes Operator

Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) is a company in the private sector that has been serving the Maldives since 1989 as a largest Maldives Seaplanes operator. It operates from Velana International Airport grounds in the capital of Malé and is very instrumental in providing better seaplane transfer services to various tourist resorts in the country. For example, TMA was recognized as having the largest seaplane fleet for air transfers globally in 2013 and thus earned itself a reputation as being both the oldest and still leading air transfer operator today.

Right from its inception, it used to be operated under Hummingbird Island Helicopters as a helicopter fleet carrier. However, as a result of infrastructure challenges facing the Maldives, TMA has changed progressively into sea plane operations mainly linking Male with many of island holiday destinations.  The airline offers resort transfers, photo flights, private charters and amazing excursions which are vital for connecting global tourists to their dream destination at Maldives.

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History of Trans Maldivian Airways


Hummingbird Island Helicopters became Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) on January 1st 1989 when they started operating helicopters. Some of these early pioneers of commercial aviation overcame significant infrastructure issues during the early years of the nation’s travel industry.

Expansion and Growth

The only rival firm against TMA within this industry was launched by Air Taxi company in 1993. Both firms exhibited tremendous growths within few decades whereat later Trans Maldivian Airways became world’s largest seaplane company. In February 2013, Blackstone Group acquired majority stake in both TMA and Maldivian Air Taxi through buyout thereby forming an entirely new entity.

Over time, over 500000 passengers per annum were moved by TMA making it to become top most provider of air transportation among hundreds of islands found within the country.

Key Milestones

  • Some major milestones for Trans Maldivian Airways are:
  • 1989: Company founded as Hummingbird Island Helicopters
  • 1993: Only competitor to TMA, Maldivian Air Taxi was formed.
  • Early 2000s: The world’s largest seaplane operator by TMA
  • 2013: Buyout of TMA and Maldivian Air Taxi by Blackstone Group, leading to the formation of a combined entity

Trans Maldivian Airways continues to offer dependable Maldives Seaplanes services that link isolated islands in the Maldives with international travellers thereby helping grow the tourism industry in the country.

Fleet Information

Aircraft Types

With an average age of 41.18 years, Trans Maldivian Airways has a total fleet size of 61. The majority of these aircraft is made up DH-6 Twin Otter type from Havilland Canada. These Maldives Seaplanes which can land on water are suitable for ferrying passengers between Velana International Airport in Male and other destinations around the archipelago such as resorts found in various island locations. It is worth noting that reliability and ability to operate on water are main features associated with De Havilland Twin Otter plane which makes it one among unique operations carried out by Trans Maldivian Airways.

Maldives Seaplanes: Maintenance and Safety

The airline endeavors to maintain safety and dependability standards across its fleet at all times. To ensure continuous airworthiness of the aircraft, there exists a robust maintenance program. Depending on regular inspections and checks for all aircrafts; this airline adheres strictly to maintenance rules and regulations stipulated by aviation authorities. Furthermore, highly qualified technicians carry out continued maintenance work aimed at keeping the aircrafts within optimum conditions employed by Trans Maldivian Airways.

Safety is a priority for their airline, and they try to make sure all flights are conducted with the greatest care and attention. The De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter planes have modern safety features and navigation equipment which give pilots confidence to fly in the Maldives even when faced with its peculiar challenges. Again, Trans Maldivian Airways’ pilots are intensively trained and knowledgeable of operational standards necessary for safe and efficient Maldives Seaplanes operation within the Maldivian archipelago.

Maldives Seaplane: Services and Operations

Trans Maldivian Airways is a privately-owned airline based in Hulhumale, that mainly deals with seaplane transfers to various tourist resorts. The company serves her clients through scheduled flights, charter services or customer experience.

Maldives Seaplanes: Scheduled Flights

In addition to scheduled services, TMA also offers charter services for travelers seeking a more customized and personalized Maldives Seaplanes travel experience. For example, one of their most popular packages is the standard photo flight package that gives one a chance to see a bird’s eye view of the islands starting at the airport as it goes on for 10 minutes before heading back there. This service attracts many because it has been affordably priced while still availing tourists an opportunity to see the Maldivian Islands from an unprecedented perspective.

Business and Partnerships

Maldives Seaplanes: Passenger Experience

Trans Maldivian Airways prides itself on providing comfortable Maldives Seaplane passenger experiences. Right from arrival at Velana International Airport (VIA), TMA ensures that passengers have a smooth transfer process which enables guests to rest until they reach their destination in order to discover what makes this nation unique among others. As such they get amazing aerial views of these beautiful islands making every journey towards an island of choice worth remembering for life time.

 Maldives Seaplanes Operator

Maldives Seaplanes: Corporate Affairs

The beginning saw Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) start operating helicopters under another name when Hummingbird was formed to in 1988 within the Maldives. The company later underwent rebranding in 1998 changing its name to Trans Maldivian Airways to provide Maldives Seaplane services and only operated Twin Otter airplanes. TMA boasts of being the world’s largest seaplane operator.

The majority stake in both Trans Maldivian Airways and its biggest rival Maldivian Air Taxi was acquired by American equity fund Blackstone Group in 2013. Subsequently, they had a combined Maldives Seaplane fleet of 44 aircrafts which makes them one of the largest operators globally with respect to seaplanes. Afterward, in 2017, a consortium led by Bain Capital Private Equity formed to acquire TMA from its previous private equity firm ownership. The consortium included Shenzhen Tempus Global Business Service Holding Limited, a Chinese enterprise.

As soon as it changed hands, Carlyle, King Street Capital Management and Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP took over TMA’s management and restructured it. This move was meant to make sure that this airline had strong grounds on which it would expand and grow strategically for many more years into future.

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