Island Aviation Services Ltd. (IAS), the operator of the national carrier Maldivian, has invited proposals for a six-year lease of a Boeing B787-8 aircraft. This strategic move is part of IAS’s broader initiative to expand its fleet and extend its operational reach to additional tourism markets.

According to the Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by IAS, the company is seeking the Boeing aircraft on a dry-lease basis. The bid registration is open to interested parties until 2:30 p.m. local time on 25 January 2024.

The Boeing B787-8, a member of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner series, is a wide-body aircraft lauded for its long-range and mid-size. These attributes render it ideal for long-haul flights. The 787-8 model, which typically accommodates 242 passengers, is designed with an emphasis on efficiency and passenger comfort.

The list price for a new Boeing B787-8 aircraft is approximately US$248.3 million. In 2023, the monthly lease price for a Boeing B787-8 aircraft was typically between US$800,000 and US$1.05 million, according to the International Bureau of Aviation (IBA).

Earlier this month, the government pledged to provide the necessary funds for the investment to IAS through the financing facilities available to the Ministry of Finance.

Just a week prior, IAS issued a similar RFP for a five-year lease of an Airbus A330-200 aircraft on a dry lease basis. Under the lease terms, Maldivian will obtain the air operator’s certificate (AOC) and aircraft registration of both aircraft while assuming operational responsibilities, including crew members, insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs.

In addition to leasing, IAS is also exploring the sale of a DeHavilland DHC-8 aircraft.

Maldivian’s current fleet includes two ATR72 aircraft, one ATR42 aircraft, one Airbus 320 aircraft, eight Dash8-300 series aircraft, two Dash8-200 series aircraft, and 11 DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft.

Maldivian previously operated an Airbus A321 aircraft, which was decommissioned due to high maintenance costs. Established in 2000, IAS is a wholly state-owned company.