Saturday, July 8, 2017

Colombo to Maldives and the Conrad on Turkish Airlines and Trans Maldivian Airways

Here is part 1 and part 2 of my trip.

This is part 3 from Colombo to the Conrad Maldives with a one-night stop in Malé. At Colombo our Turkish Airlines A330-300 was parked at a remote stand. We could see it from the Araliya Lounge in the main terminal. That lounge was a little sad, but certainly not the worst I've ever been to. They had some hot food and drinks and since it was dinner time, I was hungry and had some food. I knew that our next flight, although was a little over an hour, would have a full dinner. Once we got to the gate we waited a short while to be bused out to the plane. Once on board we found out that there were just a few passengers in business class on this short leg. The plane actually continues from Maldives back to Istanbul and many passengers get on in Malé. An interesting thing was that all economy passengers were seated in the very back section of the plane. I imagine that is to expedite boarding in Malé where the new passengers getting on are assigned to the section closest to the boarding door. All passengers in transit cannot exit the plane.

seats 2A,B for the short flight to Maldives

salad and dessert

main dish, chicken kabab

Arrival in Malé was very interesting. There is no taxiway as the airport is on a sliver of an island. The plane makes a U-turn on the runway and heads back toward the terminal. Planes park right where they turn in off the runway. We soon found out that we were the only 2 passengers getting off the plane. We were escorted by an airport employee all the way back to the terminal. After immigration we waited a few minutes for our 2 bags to come out on the belt. After that we found the representative for the Hotel Jen, which is where we stayed our first night because we arrived at night. Since seaplanes only fly during the day, we had to wait until the next morning to fly to the Conrad. The Hotel Jen rep took us to a speedboat and within minutes we were in Malé City, which is the smallest capital city in the world. The airport is on a separate island and they are actually building a bridge between the two islands that is supposed to open next year.

view of the city from the speedboat
room at Hotel Jen in Malé

view from the rooftop restaurant at Hotel Jen

pool and view from the rooftop of Hotel Jen

view of the airport from Hotel Jen

ferry boats going back and forth

lobby of Hotel Jen

the furthest boat would take us back to the airport
Once we arrived back to the airport we were handed off from Hotel Jen to Conrad Maldives Rangali Island staff. They walked us to the Trans Maldivian Airways desk to check in for our flight. Basically all of the their flights behave like charters so there is no scheduled time, but the airline knows what passengers will be on board. Once everyone arrives and the plane arrives, then you go. We were taken in a small van to the other side of the airport where the seaplane terminal is located. We were then taken to the Conrad's own lounge which is very large with food, drinks, and massage. 

view from the Conrad Lounge

nice place to relax and wait for a flight
We waited for about 45 min before we were all taken to the plane. There were about 11 passengers on the 15-seater DCH-6 seaplane. Our flight was 25 minutes to the Angaga resort, where one couple got off the plane. Then it was another 5 minutes to the Conrad. This was an incredible experience and one I will never forget. The views were incredible and the take-offs and landings are just so cool.

right before I stepped onto the plane

open cockpit

ready to go

Mahibadhoo island

amazing views since we flew at only about 2000 feet

just before landing at the Conrad

arrival at the Conrad

We were met by a team of staff and each arriving party had their own host to welcome and orient them to the island.

Stay tuned for next post and pictures from Maldives.

No comments:

Post a Comment