From Mountains to Beaches – Notes on Flights aboard Maldivian

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Q2160 Male MLE – Kooddoo GKK
Sunday 17 Feb 2013
STD-STA: 07:30-08:20
Actual: 07:46-08:36
Dash 8 Series 200 8Q-AMD
Seat 4C moved to 3D

Checked out of the Traders Hotel at 6am, and was at the airport by 6:15. Escorted by a staff to the domestic airport terminal which is a short walk from the international airport. There is a bank branch here but it is not open at this time of the day.

Jetty at Ibrahim Nasir Airport
Jetty at Ibrahim Nasir Airport

Check in for my flight that departs at 07:30 is fast since no one was in line. They do weigh the passenger by asking them to stand on the conveyor belt, and from there I headed to the lounge which is just beside the check-in area. The lounge was alright with plenty of seating spaces, an outdoor patio for smokers and a buffet food counter that serves decent lounge fare. There was also complimentary wi-fi in the lounge which was fairly usable on a mobile device.

Domestic Terminal
Male Airport Domestic Terminal
Maldivian Lounge at Male Domestic Airport
Maldivian Lounge at Male Domestic Airport
Bitter Lemon at the Lounge
Bitter Lemon at the Lounge

Waited in the lounge for around 30 minutes, and got myself a bottle of Bitter Lemon to drink. The bitter lemon will become my favourite drink in the Maldives for its refreshing taste! I skipped on the food as I had a light breakfast earlier on. A staff member from the Park Hyatt came over to inform me boarding will commence at 07:15. Walked past security to the waiting gates which was beside the lounge but it was another 15 minute wait before the gate opens.

Maldivian Dash 8 Series 200
Maldivian Dash 8 Series 200

It was my first time boarding a Dash 8-200 series, and I was assigned seat 4C which is an emergency row with more legroom. The overhead compartment did not manage to fit in my backpack though, and the cabin crew moved it to seat 3C. Wet towels were then distributed The flight is not full with the front 2 rows unoccupied, and I moved to seat 3D before take off since I wanted to take photos of the atolls from the air.

Inside the Dash 8 Series 200
Inside the Dash 8 Series 200
Views on Take-off
Views on Take-off

Halfway during the flight, the sole crew member came round with drinks with choices of juice or water. I picked apple juice on this flight, and it was sweeter than other juices I had. The sky changed from a cloudless blue to a cloudy grey as we flew on this southerly route. On the descent the crew member gave out sweets for passengers and as we landed, it was a sky of grey clouds with light drizzle over Kooddoo Airport.

Juice Service
Juice Service

Q2163 Kooddoo GKK – Male MLE
Tuesday 19 Feb 2013
STD-STA: 12:15-13:05
Actual: 11:59-12:53
Dash 8 Series 300 8Q-IAS
Seat 9B moved to 9A

Left the resort at 11:40 island time which is 1 hour ahead of Male time and reached Koodoo airport around 11:15 which gives us exactly one hour before scheduled departure. Upon reaching the ferry terminal, we waited in the shelter for a bit before the 5 of us from the Park Hyatt were shuttled to the terminal onboard another resort’s van. Surprisingly there was no need to weigh the passengers on the way out from Kooddoo, and we were off into the waiting gate after the one-lane security check.

Leaving the Park Hyatt
Leaving the Park Hyatt

The waiting gate was cool and a nice respite from the hot and humid weather outside. The plane arrived shortly after I entered the waiting gates along with 2 couples from the Park Hyatt Maldives. This meant an earlier departure as boarding was fast and orderly. Once onboard, the crew distributed wet towels and we were soon moving to the end of the runway for take off.

Maldivian Dash 8 Series 300
Maldivian Dash 8 Series 300

Both of my journeys, I was actually assigned an emergency exit seat row which had more legroom, and the legroom was very good for such a short flight, even surpassing domestic flights in the US.

Ocean Landscape of the Maldives
Ocean Landscape of the Maldives
Ocean Landscape of the Maldives
Ocean Landscape of the Maldives

Views upon take off was amazing since it was a sunny day and really showed the beauty of the atolls. Beverages were distributed inflight and halfway through the flight, the captain mentioned that one of the resorts could be seen on the left side granting me great views of the area.

The Maldives from the Air
The Maldives from the Air

A second beverage service serving plain water continued after the juices, and this was pretty good service for such a short flight! Landing at Male was pretty nice, and upon exit from the tarmac, I spotted the next flight I would be taking, as the Singapore Airline jet is already parked in the international terminal.

Cabin of the Dash 8 Series 300
Cabin of the Dash 8 Series 300
Leather Seats on the Dash 8 Series 300
Leather Seats on the Dash 8 Series 300
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