Humming Bird Island Airways is today as Trans Maldivian Airways, it is the oldest air transfer operator operating in the country, providing seaplane transfer services to a large number of tourist resorts. TMA currently operates the world's largest seaplane fleet. As of 2016, December it operates out of Gan International Airport, servicing resorts in Addu, and Huvadhu Atoll.
Cessna C208 Carvan
DHC6 Twin Otter
The airline was founded in 1989 as Hummingbird Island Helicopters by pilot Kit Chambers. The company operated a strictly helicopter fleet of aircraft, moving tourists from the airport to a select number of island resorts.
The airline initially operated American-made Sikorsky S-61N helicopters before moving on to Russian-made Mil Mi-8s leased from HeliAir of Bulgaria.
1993 saw the establishment of Maldivian Air Taxi, a direct competitor offering more-preferred seaplane transfers. In order to revive the market, the company was rebranded as Hummingbird Island Airways in 1997, introducing Twin Otter seaplanes to its fleet. By 1999, the fleet had transitioned out all helicopters, and had a seaplane-only lineup.
In the year 2000, Hummingbird Island was rebranded as Trans Maldivian Airways, under new management. In the next years, TMA acquired a fleet of 16 Twin Otter seaplanes, operating alongside Maldivian Air Taxi to provide transfer services to a growing number of tourist resorts in numerous atolls of the archipelago.
In 2006, TMA announced intentions to acquire 3 ATR 42 aircraft to begin operations to the domestic airports scattered in the atolls. One of the ATR aircraft were brought to Male' in early 2007, and operations began to Gan in August. In 2009, TMA announced that they were suspending all domestic operations due to losses, and the two ATR aircraft acquired were subsequently sold.
On February 4, 2013, the American equity fund Blackstone Group announced their buyout of the majority stake of both Trans Maldivian Airways and Maldivian Air Taxi, to form a new company with a combined fleet of 44 seaplanes, making it the largest seaplane fleet in the world by far.
The new company would retain the Trans Maldivian Airways brand name, with a new logo and livery integrating the colours of Maldivian Air Taxi.