Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) has defended the title of World’s Leading Seaplane Operator at the World Travel Awards.
At the World Travel Awards Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2018 held at the historic Pátio da Galé in Lisbon on December 1, TMA once again secured the position after beating Harbour Air, Kenmore Air, Seaborne Airlines, Seawings, and Sydney Seaplanes.
TMA currently operates an all-amphibian fleet of 50 aircraft, on regular flights throughout the Maldivian archipelago, making it the largest seaplane operator in the world!
The seaplane operator started in 1989 as a company operating a helicopter fleet under the name Hummingbird Island Helicopters.
Eight years later, the name was changed to Hummingbird Island Airways, as the first seaplane was added to the fleet. The transition to a seaplane-only fleet was completed in 1999. A year later, the name Trans Maldivian Airways came to be, and still, today represents a synonym for connecting the Maldives islands.
In 2016, TMA operated over 120,000 flights, transferring close to a million passengers, including 80,000 residents.
Seaplane is the preferred mode of transport between the main Velana International Airport and dozens of resorts, especially those located in the outer atolls.
World Travel Awards™ was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Today, the World Travel Awards™ brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence.
World Travel Awards™ celebrates its 25th anniversary year in 2018. Its annual programme is renowned as the most prestigious and comprehensive in the global industry. Each year World Travel Awards™ covers the globe with its Grand Tour – a series of regional gala ceremonies to recognise excellence within each continent, culminating in a Grand Final at the end of the year.
World Travel Awards™ gala ceremonies are regarded as milestone events in the industry calendar, attended by the industry's key decision makers and figure heads, as well as key trade and consumer media. The programme, its winners and its sponsors are represented globally on social media, with fresh daily content featured on six platforms and in 10 languages, including Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Arabic.
In 2018, World Travel Awards™ Grand Tour features regional gala ceremonies in the Middle East (Ras Al Khaimah, UAE), Europe (Athens, Greece), Asia & Australasia (Hong Kong), Latin America (Guayaquil, Ecuador), Africa & the Indian Ocean (Durban, South Africa) and North America & the Caribbean (Jamaica). Regional winners then compete head to head in in the corresponding world categories. The winners were announced on the night of the World Travel Awards™ Grand Final in Lisbon, Portugal in November 2018.