Flying to the Maldives for a vacation might be even more luxury owing to a newly founded airline that will provide every customer with a lie-flat seat.
Beond – meaning “beyond” – showcased its aircraft at a series of events this week. When scheduled flights resume in November, every passenger on board the narrow-body planes will be able to recline practically horizontally.
The airline bills itself as “the world’s first premium leisure airline” and does not use the word business class, claiming that its service is geared for vacationers – it is located in the Maldives, which is expected to have 1.6 million tourists in 2022 and where tourism is the single largest sector.
Tero Taskila, founder and CEO of Beond and former CEO of Estonian Air, stated that while the airline offers a “niche product,” it is “targeting people who are seeking luxury experiences in travel.”
The jet, an Airbus A319, is set to carry only 44 people, much fewer than the maximum capacity of 156. Additional planes with lie-flat seats and lower capacity are planned to enter the fleet in late 2023 or early 2024.
“Our aim is simple: to fly our customers to the most unique and unspoiled destinations where they can release their inner explorer on the most memorable vacation of their lives,” Mr. Taskila said.
There will initially be three routes linking with Male, the capital of the Maldives. Flights to and from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, begin on November 9, flights to and from Munich, Germany, begin on November 15, and a route between Zurich, Switzerland, and Male will begin on November 17.
Beond has stated that new flights between Dubai and Milan, northern Italy, will commence in late March 2024, with the CEO aiming to expand to 60 destinations in the following five years.
Beond’s launch follows the cancellation of a new airline that promised all-business class cabins just weeks after the inaugural flight.
BermudAir, which defines itself as being established for “business and premium leisure travellers,” initially planned to arrange the aircraft with 30 seats over 15 rows, but has since said that customers would have an economy alternative, converting to a “dual-class” cabin format.