Review: Maldivian Airlines DHC8-2, Malé – Koodhoo
Maldivian Airlines runs a small network of international and domestic flights as the flag carrier for the Republic of Maldives. Their international destinations include Bangkok, Thailand, in addition to several destinations in India which include Cochin, Chennai, Mumbai and Trivandrum. Maldivian’s domestic airport will be home to many travellers experiences as Maldivian is often the back bone connecting tourists to the various resorts. Our trip with them would be our third flight on their domestic product as we headed back to the Park Hyatt Maldives for our second visit.
This post is one chapter on our third Round the World trip via South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, the Maldives and India. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport (World of Hyatt) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: Vietnam, Maldives and India. Round the World #3 in Star Alliance Business Class via Air Canada, Asiana, Singapore, Air India, Turkish Airlines Business Class
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver International
- Air Canada Business Class: Vancouver International – Seoul Incheon
- The Nest Hotel, A Member of Design Hotels, Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class Lounge: Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class: Seoul Incheon – Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers, Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sights and Sounds of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Restaurant Review: Nhà Hàng Ngon, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
- Trading at Ben Thanh Market and Street Life in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. Travelling Ho Chi Minh City to Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. The Canals of Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Ho Chi Minh City Airport Lounge – Fin Bar
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Ho Chi Minh City – Singapore
- Westin Singapore
- Shopping at Retail Giants on Orchard Road, Singapore
- Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge: Changi Airport Terminal 2
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
- Hotel Jen Maldives Malé by Shangri La, Malé, Maldives
- Street Life in Malé. A Day Walking the Republic’s Maldivian Capital
- Maldivian Moonmia Domestic Lounge, Malé Ibrahim Nasir Domestic
- Maldivan Airlines: Malé – Koodhoo
- Park Hyatt Maldives
- Circumnavigating Hadadaa Island, Maldives
- The Guided Back of House Tour, Park Hyatt Maldives
- Snorkelling the Park Hyatt Maldives House Reef
- Sunsets on Hadahaa Island, Hudavdoo Atoll, Maldives
- The Leeli Lounge – Male International Airport
- Air India: Male Thiruvananthapuram
- Air India: Thiruvananthapuram – Chennai
- Air India Maharajah Lounge: Chennai Madras International Airport
- Air India Business Class: Chennai – New Delhi
- The Leela Palace, New Delhi, India
- Jama Masjid, New Delhi
- Stepping into Chandi Chowk, New Delhi, India
- Overland Travel: New Delhi to Agra by BMW Luxury Sedan
- The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
- The Walled City of Agra, Agra, India
- Air India Maharajah Lounge, Indira Ghandi Domestic, New Delhi
- Air India: New Delhi – Jaipur
- The Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, India
- Walking the Old City of Jaipur, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, and City Palace, Jaipur
- A Day in the Footsteps of Royalty, Touring Amber Fort, Jaipur
- Air India: Jaipur – New Delhi
- ITC Muraya Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, New Delhi
- The Plaza Premium Lounge, Indira Ghandi International Airport, New Delhi
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: New Delhi – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk Business Lounge
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Montreal
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Montreal Domestic
- Air Canada Business Class: Montreal – Vancouver
Review: Maldivian Airlines DHC8-2, Malé – Koodhoo
This is our second time experiencing Maldivian Airlines flying down to Koodhoo. For our previous experience on the newer Maldivian DHC8-300 series, please see Maldivian Airlines DHC 8 – 3 Malé – Koodhoo –
“Maldivian Airlines offers an as expected service domestically within the Maldives. The service is bookended by a comfortable lounge in Malé, and landing at rural airports on isolated Maldavian atolls”
After a visit to the Maldivian Moonimaa Domestic Lounge, we were prepared by our local Park Hyatt representative. He led us down and we had a quick security screening before heading into the domestic departures holding area. As is usually the case before any flight, the podium and gate area are a hive of activity.
We boarded again from the apron, into an older non cosmetically marked Maldvian Dash 8-200 series.
On Board Maldivian Airlines:
On board, the configuration is 2-2 with no business class seating on the Dash 8 product. This configuration isn’t unique to Maldivian and is pretty consistent whether you happen to find yourself on the Dash 8 product or the equally quirky ATR-72 product that some times turns up in the domestic short haul market. The Maldivian Airlines Dash 8 – 200 seating was pretty much as expected. The older series had seats decorated in rawhide red leather. Please see our past review of the Maldivian Dash 8 – 300 seating, which is slightly more avant grade.
It was a quick ride down non stop to Koodohoo. Since we sat in 10A/10B, we didnt have much of a view since the flight path has most of the atolls on the west side of the flight route down. As a result, I have only a small amount of flying over the atolls photographs to share. They are mostly from take off and landing.
If you’re looking for the experience of sightseeing over the atolls with great photographs, I have to conclude that you really need to take a sea plane. A sea plane flies at much lower altitudes and a little bit is lost flying at propeller plane altitudes.
Arriving to Koodhoo:
A view vibrations later, and we were on the ground at Koodhoo. Its pretty isolated here, to say the least. Surprisingly, it’s little more built up compared to the last time we were through this airport. There are fences around the airport and walkways and there seem to be more people around. The deserted arrivals hall hasn’t lost its hospital charm.
Transferring to the Park Hyatt Maldives:
After our flight, we hopped in the boat for the water transfer over to the Park Hyatt. It’s usually about 30 minutes. However, we had 11 people on the transfer with us on this particular day. This meant that the process was much slower than in the past when it was just the two of us. Logistically, it meant transferring two sets of guests on the golf cart between the airport and the harbour, then going back for all the luggage, then getting all the people onto the boat, then loading up 15+ suitcases on the boat. Then, the boat was unable to go as fast as it usually does because it was so heavy. It probably had over 500 lbs of luggage (about 10 cases loaded at an estimated 50lbs each).
All in all, the transfer process took us about 90 minutes from Koodhoo airport to hotel. When you experience things a second time, usually its quicker than before. That certainly wasnt the case today! This isn’t the transfer boat. Instead, we had views of the harbour while we waited for everything to get organized.
Our experience on Maldivian Airlines summarized:
Every time I fly in the Maldives, I always hope for a little great photography and aerial sights out of the flight window. That wasn’t the case today and I think after three domestic flights in the Maldives, I’ve just concluded I’ll have to take a sea plane transfer to a closer resort in order to experience seeing some really great photographs. Our time on Maldivian Airlines was as expected, and there isn’t much in the way of dressing up travel on a Maldivian Dash 8. At the very least, we had a comfortable lounge at the start of the trip, in addition to a reasonably prompt flight down.