Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Mohamed Ameen has said that changes have been made to Island Aviation Services (IAS) which will serve to bring favourable outcomes, in the eyes of the public, to the prices of domestic flights. Ameen was speaking at a press conference on the milestones his ministry had achieved during their first 40 days in government.

The prices of domestic flights had gone up because of the policies of the previous administration and as such, IAS had suffered business losses and over hired in terms of staffing, he said.

“One thing I noticed was that Island Aviation was profitable by 2018. Before 2018, they did not have to use state or taxpayer money and was operating in the same manner as a private company,” Ameen said.

During the current administration’s transitional phase, it had been noted that over the past five years, from 2018 to 2023, IAS’s business had declined including sea plane operations, the minister said. According to experts, this decline can be attributed, in part, to the significant disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected the aviation industry worldwide and impacted the financial stability of many airlines.

The administration has already begun work to solve the problem; among them, the management of IAS has now been changed and the company is undergoing administrative restructuring, Ameen said.

He also said that he believes the prices of domestic flights will change with the income generated by launching wide body aircrafts into operations, exploring international opportunities and economic influx as a result of of the administration’s ‘Week 14’ policies.

The price hike in domestic flights is a major concern for most citizens for which the national carrier, and other domestic airlines, receive constant criticism.