Manta Air is adding a Beechcraft 1900D, a new aircraft type for the Maldivian airline that mostly operates De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Twin Otter seaplanes.
Pictures in the local media show the 1900D, already in Manta Air livery, parked at Male’s Velana International Airport after reportedly arriving there on 15 August from overseas.
The aircraft in the picture still has its overseas aircraft registration number: ZS-EAH, which is a South African registration.
Aircraft trading websites show this aircraft, manufacturer’s serial number UE-424, was earlier available for sale and parked in South Africa.
Aircraft records show it is an ex-Air New Zealand Eagle Airways aircraft built in 2001, one of the last Beechcraft 1900s built before Beechcraft stopped production of the type in 2002.
The 1900D is a 19-seat pressurised aircraft renowned for its tall interior cabin.
According to Planespotters.net, Manta Air operates six 19-seat Twin Otter seaplanes, an unpressurised aircraft. Both types use Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engines, although the 1900D was only ever designed for land-based transport. The airline also operates three 70-seat ATR 72-600 aircraft, says Planespotters.net.
Smart Aviation Asia Pacific has reached out to Manta Air for comment.
Feature picture, from Wolvgram, shows the 1900D at Male’s Velana International Airport in Manta Air’s livery.
Manta Air Adding Four Twin Otters By Year-End (6 July 2022)
Maldivian Start-up Manta Air Getting Ten Twin Otter Seaplanes (22 November 2019)
New Maldivian Carrier Manta Air Keen to Shake Up Competition (24 April 2019)