The History of Dornier Do228 Airplane in the Maldives
The Do 228 is a twin-turboprop STOL utility aircraft first introduced by Dornier in 1982. With a wide operating range and low operational cost, the Do 228 has proven to be a vital aircraft.
The Do 228 can be operated as a commuter aircraft, a military transporter, cargo hauler, or as a special missions aircraft catering for maritime surveillance, border patrol, medevac, search and rescue, paradrop and environmental research.
The Do 228 was initially built in Oberlfaffenhofen, Germany. Dornier later signed a major license-production and phased technology-transfer agreement with Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) in 1985 and a new production line was established in India.
From a total of 370, 245 were built in Germany whereas 125 were built in India. All manufacturing operation was later transferred to the Indian production line in 1996 and production was halted in Germany.
Swiss RUAG Holding then acquired the Do 228 type certification in 2003 and introduced a new newer next-generation variant.
The Do 228 was operated in the Maldives by Air Maldives and Island Aviation Services. Apart from commercial passenger flights, the aircraft was used for medevas, search and rescue and etc.
Air Maldives in the late 1980s first brought the Do 228 to replace the Short Skyvan aircraft and to facilitate services to the two newly opened domestic airports, Hanimaadhoo Airport and Kahdhoo Airport.
Since then local pilots, engineers, flight attendants, etc were trained to operate the Do 228 aircraft some of who are active in duty even today.
Air Maldives acquired a total of 4 Do 228 aircraft. At the time of its bankruptcy in 2000, two Do 228 were left in its fleet.
The remaining two Do 228 were left untouched and eventually lost their airworthiness. The aircraft was last seen leftover in Hulhumale before it was sold to be scrapped.
Dornier Do 228 was once again seeing in the Maldivian sky as the new national flag carrier Island Aviation Services acquired two Do 228.
IAS eventually switched to an only Dash-8 fleet in 2012 due to the lack of need for the smaller Do 228 with the high passenger demand and the extended route network.
Do 228 was never flown by any operator in the Maldives until in September 2020 when Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) received its maritime patrol Do 228 aircraft.
However as the aircraft is still owned by the Indian Armed Forces, it is operated and maintained only by the Indian crew.
Here’s the list of Dornier Do228 aircraft operated in the Maldives.
Air Maldives received this aircraft in December 1989. Following bankruptcy, the aircraft was stored and later sold to be scrapped.
Air Maldives received this aircraft in June 1990. Following bankruptcy, AMC too was stored and later sold to be scrapped.
Air Maldives received this aircraft in February 1992. It was leased for a year before ATA-Aerocondor acquired the aircraft in March 1993.
Air Maldives received this aircraft in June 1995. In November of the same year, the Do228 veered off the runway during landing in Male’ International Airport and collided with a sea wall, and fell inverted into the sea.
The Do 228 was damaged beyond repair and was written off.
Island Aviation Services
Island Aviation Services received this aircraft in august 2003. It was operated until 2008 when it was acquired by Sita Air.
Island Aviation Services received this aircraft in July 2005. It was operated until 2012 when it was acquired by Tara Air.
Maldives National Defence Force
MNDF received this aircraft in September 2020. It is the only Do 228 operating in the Maldives today.