Villa Air’s airline bran Flyme has operated its first international commercial flight.
The charter flight departed from Velana International Airport (VIA) to Bandaranaike International Airport, Sri Lanka a little past 1pm on Friday and it is the first time the local airline has been launched into the international aviation platform.
The brand-new ATR 72-600 aircraft with a 72-passenger capacity consisted of a “100 percent Maldivian crew”, revealed the airline.
Flyme is expecting to launch scheduled operations to neighboring India, soon.
The company successfully operated the flight after the completing the “rigorous” certification process required by the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority on Thursday, to obtain a variation allowing Flyme to operate international flights using its Maldivian Air Operator Certificate.
The entire Villa Air team would also like to thank the various institutes of the Government of Maldives, especially the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority who had worked through some challenging conditions to complete the certification process. Furthermore, a very warm thank you to the Sri Lankan government authorities and Sri Lankan partner Lanka Sportraizen for coordinating the efforts in Sri Lanka for the charter flight. Villa Air would also like to thank the various different individuals and organizations that worked with us over the course of the journey to achieve this important milestone for the company and Maldives aviation in general.”
~ Villa Air
Villa Air, lead by business tycoon Gasim Ibrahim, revealed that they have been discussing taking Flyme to international skies since 2019 and proudly noted that Flyme will continue to schedule flights between Maldives and Sri Lanka as soon as the neighboring nation reopens borders.
With this international operation, Villa Air will be able to “contribute a faster recovery of the Maldivian economy as countries slowly open their borders” said the company.
Following the successful operation, Villa Air applauded the efforts of the entire team, who, over the years contributed to this project to bear fruit.
Flyme operations were launched on October 1, 2011 and Villa Air currently has a fleet of four ATR aircrafts consisting of one 72-passenger capacity ATR 72-600, two 68-passenger capacity ATR 72-500 and one 48-passenger capacity ATR 42-500 aircraft.