Monday, January 21, 2013

►► SOUTH AFRICA: Mega Maldives Airlines looks to start Johannesburg.

flyMega Maldives[UPDATE 21 JANUARY] Following the recent arrival of a Boeing 757-200ER, Maldivian airline Mega Maldives Airlines (5M) has announced plans to expand its international network, with Johannesburg being amongst the destinations being considered, though no specific date has been mentioned.

MEGA Maldives Airlines CEO George Weinmann said:
"“The 757 will allow us to serve markets with more frequency and to open up smaller markets with non-stop direct service,” he said. “The aircraft’s long range capability – which can reach as far as Beijing, China; Perth, Australia; and Johannesburg, South Africa make it a very flexible choice as well.”"

Mega Maldives Airlines 767
Mega Maldives Airlines 767 (8qblog)
Commenting on Johannesburg, South Africa, Weinmann stated that it was once a strong source of traffic for the Maldives in years past but that the lack of convenient air services after the conclusion of charter flights many years ago had reduced demand. With new convenient direct services, he believed South Africa would once again be a strong market.

Mega Maldives Airlines was officially established in March 2010 and received its operating certificate in December 2010 commencing services into Hong Kong in January 2011. It currently operates into Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing, as well as several other points in China and will shortly commence operations to Seoul and Tokyo. It also operates three aircraft: two B767-300ER in addition to the recently leased  B757-200ER with plans to add an additional 757 and two additional 767s.

[UPDATE 21 JANUARY] Reports out of South Africa report that Mega Maldives is now eyeing a mid-year launch date for a new direct service between Malé and Johannesburg. The carrier had initially hoped to operate a scheduled service on the route in time for the Easter holiday period.