National airline Maldivian announced the order of two ATR 72-600 series and one ATR 42-600 series turboprop aircraft earlier this year in January.
According to Maldivian Managing Director Mohamed Mihad; the airline will be adding 3 more ATR aircraft by the end of 2023.
The total acquisition cost of these aircraft is reportedly USD 60 million (MVR 925 million) and Maldivian is arranging finance through a loan.
Furthermore; the airline is seeking options to add wide-body aircraft to allow for long-haul operations as the airline's current fleet of two narrow-body aircraft limits to regional operations.
Maldivian’s current jet fleet consists of two Airbus narrow-body aircraft of which the A321 is set to leave in 2023 following the end of the lease agreement. The other A320’s lease will expire in 2025.
The ageing Dash8s will be phased out in the next few years as it is difficult to maintain the aircraft as it is currently out of production. The first of the new ATRs are expected to join the fleet by the end of this year.
These ATR aircraft are to be equipped with the newer PW127XT engines which offer a 3% reduction in fuel consumption and a 20% reduction in maintenance costs, along with the ability to use sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).