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DQA-DOLPHIN TAIL LOGO
DQA-VISIT THE MALDIVES
DQA-VISIT THE MALDIVES-B DIVING
Formed and started operations in 2000. Formerly Island Aviation. Scheduled & charter, inter-island, regional & international, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.
26 Ameer Ahmed Magu
Male' 20026, Republic of Maldives
The Maldives (Republic of Maldives) was established in 1965, it consists of a group of islands (1,190) in the Indian Ocean, covering an area of 298 sq km, with a population of 300,000, its capital is Male, and its official languages are Maldivian and English.
The Maldives, a geological marvel nestled in the middle of the Indian Ocean, are made up of 1,190 coral islands that form an archipelago of 26 major atolls. Each of these atolls is fringed with abundance of exotic live corals and a rainbow of marine lives.
Maldives is about the sun, sand and sea, a thousand ‘Robinson Crusoe’ islands with massive lagoons of different depths and infinite shades of blue and turquoise; a perfect natural combination for the ideal tropical holiday destination. Nontheless, there is a lot more to the Maldives than just that, visit Maldives and discover the beauty of the destination yourself!
* Location: SW of Sri Lanka, straddling the equator. Latitudes 4 degree 17 north and longitudes 73 degree 50 east.
* Geography: 1,190 coral islands, forming an archipelago of 26 major atolls. Stretches 820 km north to south and 120 km east to west. 202 are inhabited, 87 are exclusive resort islands
* Climate: Generally warm and humid. Sun shines all year through. Average temperature around 29 - 32 degrees Celsius.
* What to wear: Dress is generally casual. T-shirts and cotton clothing are most suitable. In Male’, the capital island and other inhabited islands it is recommended that women wear modest clothing.
* Population: Approx. 298,968 according to 2006 Census.
Dhivehi is the language spoken in all parts of the Maldives. English is widely spoken by Maldivians and visitors can easily make themselves understood getting around the capital island. In the resorts, a variety of languages are spoken by the staff including English, German, French, Italian and Japanese.
The Maldives economy has been growing at an annual average of 10% for the past two decades. Tourism is the main industry, contributing close to 20% of the Grodd Domestic Product (GDP). Fisheries and trade follow close behind.
The Maldivian currency is the Rufiyaa and Laari. The exchange rate for US Dollar is fixed at MRf.15.42 for the dollar. Commonly used credit cards are American Express, Visa, Master Card, Diners Club, (JCB) and Euro Card.
The functional literacy rate is 98%. Educational standards are among the highest in the region and schools follow the British system of education.
* Local Time: GMT + 5 hours.
* Business Hours:
From Sundays to Thursdays 0800 hrs to 1600 hrs in the government sector and generally from 0900 hrs to 1700 hrs in the private sector. Additionally, most offices in the private sector are open half day on Saturdays. Weekend falls on Fridays and Saturdays.
Up-to-date technology and international satellite links allow Maldives to have a sophisticated communications system. (IDD) facilities are available on all resorts and card phones are available on all inhabited islands. Dhiraagu and Wataniya; the telecommunications companies in the Maldives also provides mobile phones for daily rental and internet service.
Health care facilities are improving almost on a daily basis. The Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’ is the biggest hospital in the country providing sophisticated medical care. (ADK) Hospital is the biggest private health care facility and follows high medical standards. Some resorts have in-house doctors. A decompression chamber is within easy reach of most resorts in case of a diving emergency.
It is not without a good reason that the Maldives has acquired a reputation as one of the most enchanting dive destinations in the world. The unique beauty of the Maldivian underwater world is doubly appreciated by divers world over due to the high visibility (sometimes even at depths of 50 meters), the multitude of exotic marine fauna and flora and the warm temperatures (25 - 30 degrees Celsius) through the year.
All resorts and most cruise boats operating in the Maldives have well equipped dive centers, staffed by multilingual experienced professionals. Also all resorts have dive schools where although the facilities may vary depending on the resort's size, location and clientele, a variety of dive courses ranging from beginners' to expert (PADI) certification are offered. In terms of equipment, all dive schools have the basics such as compressors, tanks, (BCD)s, wetsuits, weights and weight belts in addition to (a limited number of) other accessories such as lamps and dive computers. Underwater cameras and video processing facilities are also available in some of the bigger dive schools. All resorts conduct daily boat trips to dive sites around the island throughout the year and sometimes even to famous sites further away. Furthermore, although specialized dives (including night dives) are not daily events, many resorts arrange these also on a frequent basis.
* Garments to Electronics:
Shopping is the favorite activity for the locals especially in the evenings, when it is cooler. The Majeedhee Magu, which is the main road on the island, has along its sides various shops selling goods from the smallest commodities to virtually everything you could think of. The shops are well stocked with garments, perfumes and cosmetics, jewelry, watches or electronics, to name just a few. Many find it a pleasant experience to join the throngs of shoppers on the main shopping streets in the evenings. All shops are open until 11.00 in the night, except for prayer times, when they are closed for 15 minutes.
* Fish products:
Canned fish produced at the canning plant in Felivaru, Lhaviyani Atoll is available in a number of shops in Male’. Tuna used for canning are caught by the traditional pole and line method, as are all fish caught in the Maldives, and therefore are ‘dolphin friendly.’ Vacuum packed smoked fish and chipped dried fish are also available in many supermarkets around Male.' These genuine Maldivian products would make excellent gifts for friends and family back home or just take some home and try them out yourself.
* The Local Market:
The Local Market, just a block away from the Male’ Fish Market on the northern waterfront, is divided into small stalls. Here, the pace is slower and the atmosphere peaceful, compared to the hectic activity in the rest of this neighborhood. Each stall is filled with a variety of local produce mainly from the atolls. Here you will find different kinds of local vegetables, fruits and yams, packets of sweetmeat, nuts and breadfruit chips, bottles of home made sweets and pickles and bunches of bananas hanging on coir ropes from ceiling beams. Another building just next door sells smoked and dried fish.
It is not difficult to find your way around Male,’ especially if you carry a map with you. After all, it is only 2 square km. The main street Majeedhee Magu, runs right across the island from east to west. Chaandhanee Magu on the other hand, runs from north to south. Most souvenir shops line the northern end of Chaandanee Magu, earlier known as the Singapore Bazaar for its many imports from Singapore. Guides and vendors speaking in English and other foreign languages patiently wait to serve the visitors. These shops are stocked with an ample supply of gifts and souvenir items. Best buys include the ‘thudu kuna’ the Maldivian mat, woven with local natural fibers. Attractive too are the wooden miniature ‘dhonis.’ When shopping for souvenirs, do keep in mind that export of products made of turtle shell, black coral, pearl oyster shell and red coral is prohibited.
The Maldives is located at an important crossroad in the Indian Ocean, hence Maldivian culture is a melting pot of various influences gathered from visitors who set foot on the nation throughout the times. Bearing resemblance to Indian, Sri Lankan, Arabian, Persian, Indonesian, Malaysian and African cultural traits. Maldivians have assimilated this throughout the years and has created their own cultural identity.
A proud history and rich culture evolved from the first settlers who were from various parts of the world traveling the seas in ancient times. The Maldives has been a melting pot of different cultures as people from different parts of the world came here and settled down. Some of the local music and dance for instance resemble African influences, with hand beating of drums and songs in a language that is not known to any but certainly represents that of East African countries. As one would expect there is a great South Asian influence in some of the music and dancing and especially in the traditional food of the Maldivians. However, many of the South Asian customs especially with regard to women for instance the Sub Continent’s tradition of secluding women from public view - are not tenets of life here. In fact women play a major role in society - not surprising considering the fact men spend the whole day out at sea fishing. Many of the traditions are strongly related to the seas and the fact that life is dependent on the seas around us.
Although archeological finds indicate that the Maldives was inhabited as early as 1500 BC, much of the country's origin is lost in History - most of which is as much folklore and myth as fact.
It is believed that the most important factor that contributed to the settlement of people in the Maldives is its geographical location. Massive ruins and other archeological remains found in the atolls and the islands bordering the equatorial channel and the One and a Half Degree channel bear testimony to the fact that people of antiquity had indeed come upon the country during their travels. It is believed that permanent settlements were established around 500 BC by Aryan immigrants from the Indian subcontinent. Many customs, traditional practices and superstitious beliefs that still prevail in the country also attest to the influence of the early Dravidian culture of the Maldives.
Although it is most probable that early Maldivians were Buddhist or Hindus migrating from the Indian subcontinent, the archeologist, Thor Heyerdahl, who carried out extensive archeological research in the Maldives and has contributed significantly to the theories of the origins of the country, stated that some of the figures unearthed from the ancient mounds bore a striking resemblance to the figures he had investigated on Easter island in the Pacific Ocean. Many of these theories, however, are still a matter of controversy.
The accounts of travelers, who had stopped over (for Supplies and because of shipwrecks) as the Maldives is located along the ancient marine trade routes from the West to the East, also serve as useful guides to the history of these small islands. Among these travelers were the Chinese historian Ma Huan and the famous Arab traveler, Ibn Batuta. It is also understood that the Maldivians themselves ventured far beyond their own shores; Pliny, for example states that Maldivian emissaries bore gifts to the Roman Emperor.
NOTE: IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU VISIT THE MALDIVIAN WEBSITE AND SEE THEIR EXCELLENT IN-FLIGHT MAGAZINE "VARA."
January 2008: 1st regional flight to Trivandrum, India.
August 2008: Re-branded from Island Aviation to Maldivian.
October 2012: Maldivian Airlines (DQA) is the national carrier of the Maldives, which flies inter-island to several Maldivian resorts from Male Hulule International airport, including Gan, Hanimaadhoo, Kadhhoo, Kaadedhdhoo, and Thiruvananthapuram.
Employees = 280.
(IATA) Code: Q2 - 986.
(ICAO) Code: DQA - (Callsign - ISLAND AVIATION).
Company slogan: Flying Made Simple.
Main Base: Male Hulule International Airport.
Destinations: Chennai, Dhaka, Gan (Addu Atoll), Hanimaadhoo (Haa Dhaalu Atoll), Kaadedhdhoo (Gaaf Dhaalu Atoll), Kadhhoo, Mumbai, Koodoo (Gaafu Alifu Atoll), and Trivandrum.
7th domestic route added with the opening of Dharavandhoo Airport in Baa Atoll.
November 2012: Maldivian Airlines (DQA), the national carrier of the Maldives has become a new operator of Airbus (EDS) single aisle airplanes, following the first commercial flight of an A320-214 (2347, 8Q-IAN - - SEE PHOTO - - "DQA-A320-214 - 2012-10) on the inaugural flight from Male to Chennai. The A320-214, operated under an Air Lease (ALE) leasing agreement will fly to destinations in the Indian sub-continent.
The A320, which is powered by (CFM56) engines, was previously handed over at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Maldives, in October 2012. Its interior has been specifically modified to accommodate a 3-class configuration: 14C business, 18PY premium and 120Y economy seats. “This entry into service of our 1st A320 is a great day for Maldivian and our passengers. This signifies the increasing expansion of (DQA) in the region,” commented Abdul Haris Managing Director of (DQA). “We will start our A320 operations with direct flights to Mumbai, Chennai and Dhaka, much-anticipated routes for our customers.”
(DQA) began operating from its Malé (MLE) base to India’s largest city, Mumbai (BOM). The new route is operated 3x-weekly. On November 18, a new route followed to Chennai (MAA) in southern India from where the airplane continues with full 5th freedom rights to the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka (DAK). The route is also operated with 3x-weekly frequencies. Notably, none of the new routes face direct competition from any other airline. (DQA)’s only previous international route, was to Trivandrum in southern India.
The Maldives government has terminated a $511 million contract awarded to Bangalore-based (GMR) Group in 2010 for the upgrade, expansion and operation of Male International Airport. The government said the agreement was “legally invalid,” a decision (GMR) is disputing.
The Maldivian government said its decision followed 9 months of cabinet committee research and was made “on grounds that there were many legal, technical and economic issues regarding the agreement, and that it was legally invalid, and impossible to further continue the legal teams agree and advise that this agreement, which was governed under the laws of the United Kingdom, was void ab initio, and/or that it was an agreement that could not be implemented further, due to frustration.”
The (GMR) Group, which operates in Delhi, Hyderabad and Istanbul, called the government decision an “irrational move.” “The government of Maldives has issued a notice to the (GMR) Male' International Airport intending to take over the possession and control of the Ibrahim Nassir International Airport under the pretext that the agreement is void,” (GMR) said. “This unlawful and premature notice on the pretext that the concession agreement is ‘void’ is completely devoid of any local standing and is therefore being challenged by the company before the competent forums. The company disputes that the concession agreement (CA) is ‘void.’”
The 25-year concession agreement was signed June 28, 2010 between a (GMR)-Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad consortium, the Maldives Airports Company and the government. Plans included the development of a 600,000 sq ft passenger terminal increasing the terminal capacity to handle 5.5 million passengers annually and the construction of a new 20,000 sq ft (VIP) terminal.
The (GMR) group said it “has taken all measures to continue operations” at the airport “thereby ensuring that this vital gateway to Maldives is kept open. This action by the government is in complete disregard of and has been done during the dependency of arbitration proceedings in the designated tribunal in Singapore.”
January 2013: Maldivian Airlines (DQA) has selected UK based (IFE) Services to provide in-flight entertainment for its commercial flights. (IFE) will provide (DQA) with popular television programming, as well as some original production work on its fleet of Bombardier (BMB) regional jets.
Brazilian carrier (TAM) (TPR) also recently selected (IFE) to provide in-flight entertainment for its airplanes.
February 2013: Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) won a 3-year component support contract from the Republic of Maldives carrier Maldivian Airlines (DQA) covering its 1st A320 airplane, which entered service in November 2012. Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) will provide spare parts supply and pooling for 465 part numbers, component repair and overhaul, with components sourced from Frankfurt and Hamburg. Overhaul and repair work will take place at Lufthansa (DLH) sites in Hamburg.
July 2014: DHC-8-315 (557, 8Q-IAK), ex-(C-GYDS), Avnax Aircraft Leasing leased.
December 2014: Maldivian Airlines (DQA) and the Air Lease Corporation (ALE) have signed a long-term lease contract for 1 Airbus A321-200 (2599). The airplane will deliver in the 1st quarter of 2015 and will join another (ALE)-leased A320.
March 2015: (MTU) Maintenance signed an exclusive 8-year maintenance agreement with Maldives national carrier, Maldivian (DQA). Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services include (CFM56-5B) engines for its Airbus A320 and A321 airplanes, as well as engine lease support through (MTU)’s newly founded engine lease company, (MTU) Maintenance Lease Services (B V). (MTU) Maintenance will perform the engine overhaul at its Chinese location in Zhuhai.
Click below for photos:
DQA-A320 - 2012-10
DQA-A320-214 - 2012-10
DQA-DHC-8 - 2012-11
1 +1 ORDER A320-214 (CFM56) (2347, /04 8Q-IAN - - SEE PHOTO - - "DQA-A320-214 - 2012-10), EX-(EC-KHJ), (ALE) LSD 2012-10. 14C, 24PY, 114Y.
1 +1 ORDER (2015-02) A321-200 (2599), AIR LEASE CORPORATION (ALE) LSD.
1 BOMBARDIER DHC-8-202 (PW123D) (429, /96 8Q-AMD), 2000-05, EX-(C-GDKL), 37Y.
1 BOMBARDIER Q202 (PW123C) (542, /00 8Q-IAQ), EX-(C-FIKT), 2006-11. 37Y.
1 BOMBARDIER Q300 (PW123) (491, /98 8Q-IAP), EX-(LN-WFE), 2007-08. 50Y.
1 BOMBARDIER Q314 (544, /00 8Q-IAO), EX-(D-BHOQ), 2008-07. 50Y.
1 BOMBARDIER DHC-8-315 (557, 9A-TOA), EX-(C-GYDS), AVNAX AIRCRAFT LEASING LSD (2014-07).
1 DORNIER 228-212 (TPE331-5-252D) (8244, /01 8Q-IAR), EX-(D-CBDX), 2005-07. 16Y.
BANDHU IBRAHIM SALEEM, CHAIRMAN.
ABDUL HARIS, MANAGING DIRECTOR.
CAPTAIN MOHAMED AMEEN, MANAGER FLIGHT OPERATIONS (email@example.com).
MOHAMED SHAHEEN, MANAGER FINANCE & ACCOUNTS.
MS AISHATH FARAH HABIB, MANAGER COMMERCIAL (firstname.lastname@example.org).
AHMED SHAUGY, MANAGER ENGINEERING (email@example.com).
IBRAHIM IYAS, MANAGER SAFETY & QUALITY.
HUSSAIN SUHAIL, MANAGER HUMAN RESOURCES (HR).
ALI NASHATH HAMEED, MANAGER ADMINISTRATION.
AHMED IBRAHIM, MANAGER MALDIVIAN GROUND OPERATIONS (firstname.lastname@example.org).
MOHAMED IMTHIYAZ, MANAGER IN-FLIGHT SERVICES.