Premium airline BeOnd has unveiled its first aircraft at a grand ceremony held at Velana International Airport (VIA) in the Maldives. The aircraft, which features 44 business class seats, landed at VIA on Monday to a traditional water salute.

BeOnd is a joint-venture between the SIMDI Group from the Maldives and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Arabesque.

BeOnd’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman, Tero Taskila, told reporters that the initial flights will be from Zurich, Switzerland; Munich, Germany; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The flights are scheduled to expand to Milan, Italy; Bangkok, Thailand; and Dubai, UAE. Flights to China’s Beijing and Shanghai will follow, Taskila said.

Flights originating out of the Middle East will start at US$2,000 with prices from European destinations starting at €3,800.

Special fares, for Maldivians, have not yet been determined, however, once operations are fully underway, promotions will target the Maldives, the BeOnd CEO said.

The airline has provided unique job opportunities to Maldivians and SIMDI is working to make 50 percent of the company’s employees Maldivians, SMIDI’s Managing Director Mishal Ibrahim Mohamed Didi said.

BeOnd will begin operating scheduled flights in November, initially with two flights a week.

The SIMDI Group founded in 2001 is recognised as a reputed trading company in the Maldives.

Arabesque is a luxury airline based in the United Arab Emirates.