The largest seaplane operator in the world – Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) – has extended its fleet capacity to a total of 56 aircraft.
“It is a pleasure to welcome our newest member to the fleet. We are 56 strong today,” an announcement by the seaplane operator read.
Earlier in September 2019, the seaplane operator announced its plans of expanding fleet capacity with four new aircraft acquisitions. The first of the four arrived in September with another two followed by in December.
Officially commenced its operations 27 years back, TMA first ventured into seaplane operations with just two aircraft in their fleet.
In 2013, USA based investment firm Blackstone’s acquisition of both TMA and Maldivian Air Taxi resulted in the merger of the two, integrating the seaplanes under one management and catapulting the fleet capacity.
Thus, elevating TMA’s status as the operator with the largest fleet of seaplanes in the world.
Although Blackstone bought majority shares of the two ventures and merged them, the US-based investment firm later sold its shares to an investors’ consortium formed between entrepreneurs of both the USA and China in 2017.
The investor consortium had majority shares by USA’s Bain Capital and China’s Tempus Group. Through the deal with the consortium, Blackstone sold TMA at USD550 million (approximately MVR8.4 billion).