After arriving in male after our Business Class flight from Singapore, we had a little while to relax in the Moonimaa Lounge. This is a lounge offered to Park Hyatt guests, and presumably other resorts that require a domestic flight after arrival in Male. It is also accessible for holders of PriorityPass and LoungeClub cards. It is the only lounge available in the domestic terminal.
The lounge is perfectly fine, and there is free wifi with a code that can be obtained from the attendant. There are a few snacks and non-alcoholic drinks available. A selection of reading materials are available. I was pretty tired by the time we were here, so I didn’t think to take any photographs. Basically, its just a quiet place to sit, near the Maldivian ticket counters.
After a short while in the Moonimaa Lounge, we were escorted through security and boarded our flight. We appeared to be the only tourists on the flight. Of the 35 seats on the Dash-8, there were about 10 seats occupied, and my wife and I were the last to board. We were seated in the back row. The flight attendant sat in the front, but all passengers were in the rear of the plane.
Service on Maldivian flights consist of of a moist towelette offered before departure, then a drink service after leveling off. Drinks offered include water or juice. Shortly before landing, a basket of candies is passed. Simple but friendly service. Announcements are in English and Maldivian.
Our outbound flight was a nonstop from Male to Koodoo, and it took about 55 minutes. On the return we had a one stop routing from Koodoo to Kadhdhoo to Male. This took about 90 minutes with the additional stop. The daylight flights of the return journey were much more scenic.
Some of the countless atolls in the Maldives viewed from our Maldivian flights
Upon arrival in Koodoo, we were met by another Park Hyatt representative, collected our baggage, and drove us via golf cart to the boat dock. By this time it was after midnight locally and even later on the time we were used to. From there, we had about a 25 minute speed boat ride to the Park Hyatt.
On the return journey, we left the hotel in the morning, so we could actually see on the trip to Male, which was a nice final memory of the natural beauty of the Maldives.
Speed boat from the Park Hyatt at the Koodoo dock
Fishing remains a major industry in the Maldives
I thought this mock up of Koodoo Island near the boat dock was pretty neat. Basically and airstrip, a dock and little else.
Once we were at the Koodoo airport terminal, we had about an hour wait before our flight onward to Male. I was a bit annoyed with this, since we were somewhat rushed out to check out, and I’d rather have relaxed longer at the Park Hyatt than sitting in a terminal. Oh well…
Modern, new departure hall at Koodoo (airport opened in late 2012)
Another old school touch on Maldivian- Hand written boarding cards!
The experience on Maldivian was fine. Service is friendly and the Dash-8 birds are fine for the short flights. With only 6 aircraft in the fleet, there aren’t a lot of options. All of these flights were arranged by the Park Hyatt, and the Maldivian schedule seems to be rather flexible.