Start-up airline plans ‘premium leisure’ Maldives flights

A start-up airline planning to serve the Maldives has secured more than $17 million in seed funding.

Beond has ambitions to operate a fleet of Airbus A320-family aircraft with just 68 lay-flat seats from as early as this autumn, pending regulatory approval.

The aim is to fly from Male in the Maldives to Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, with Dubai and Delhi targeted first.

The company described the funding round as being oversubscribed, with participants including angel investors and strategic partners.

The cash injection will go towards hiring pilots and cabin crew to build the network, scale up marketing and sales efforts and securing aircraft.

The carrier is being founded by industry veterans Tero Taskila, Max Nilov and Sascha Feuerherd.

Chairman and chief executive Taskila, who previously held roles at  Finnair, Gulf Air, Air Baltic and Estonian Air, said: “This funding round marks a significant milestone for Beond.

“We are humbled and excited to have the support of such remarkable investors who share our passion for innovation and believe in our mission. 

“The investment will empower Beond to realise its full potential and deliver on the promise of both this ground-breaking business model in the airline industry and pioneering experience for passengers. 

“Beond will operate a premium leisure experience for customers while bringing to bear the benefits of a lightweight, low-cost operation based on the collective decades of experience of our team.”

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