Review: Trans Maldivian Airways DHC-6-300 Twin Otter Economy (WST-MLE)

After a relaxing four days at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort, it was time to head off on the next leg of our adventure. First, we had to get back to the airport.


As part of our reservation with the Westin, they organized our seaplane transfer to and from the resort. Though, that came with a cost. The transfers were $500 per person round trip, which is on the steep side for a 30 minute propeller flight. The hotel works with Trans Maldivian Airways to determine when you need to depart.


Our assigned Westin concierge, Athyk, messaged me on the day of departure letting me know that they would be at our room at 4:45pm to pick up our bags and handle the checkout. Our seaplane was due to depart at 5:45pm Westin time to get us to Male in time for our 8:05pm Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi (The Westin is an hour ahead of Male).

Athyk messaged me again saying that the seaplane would not be arriving until 6:15pm local time due to weather delays leaving Male so, at promptly 5:15pm he picked us up and drove us to the indoor reception area where we settled up the bill and headed down to the dock for our seaplane back to Male.

The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort Seaplane Dock


There was a plane at the dock when we arrived but, unfortunately, it was taking guests over to another resort and wasn’t our plane to Male. With the weather and the wind starting to pick up I was happy to see our plane taxiing in as the first one departed, though I wouldn’t be totally comfortable until we were airborne.

a seaplane on a small boat in the water
a plane on the water
a seaplane on the water
a plane on the water

Once our plane arrived at the dock, a few guests got off and the crew loaded our luggage before inviting us to board.

Trans Maldivian Airways DHC-6-300 Twin Otter 8Q-MAD

Trans Maldivian Airways

TMA 27

WST-MLE (Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort – Male Velana International)

Seat: 5B (Economy)

DHC-6-300 (8Q-MAD)

Scheduled: 4:45p-5:15p

Actual: 5:30p-6:10p

The flight was completely full and Mrs. ATX Jetsetter and I boarded last and took the bench seat in the last row. The weather was really starting to pick up and the waves were beginning to whitecap out in the distance. Needless to say, I was eager to get off the ground before the weather trapped us here. While on the dock I had been talking with a family of expats living in Abu Dhabi, who were on the same Etihad flight as us. They told me that on their way to the resort the weather was so bad they needed to divert and had to spend the night on another island. They were transferred to the Westin via boat the next day. Just like the outbound, the legroom was tight for my 6’2″ frame.

people sitting in a plane


Finally, the captain decided we were ready to go and that there was enough of a break in the weather. We untied from the dock, fired the engines and taxied out into the bay. We taxied the length of the island and took off to the north, over near the spa, before climbing up over the clouds and turning back southeast towards Male.

a view of the ocean from the wing of a plane
a view of a body of water from a plane


The flight was bumpier than our outbound flight, which was unsurprising given the weather conditions. For the first 10 minutes or so we bounced around until the clouds cleared and we got some views of some other resorts as we got closer to the airport.

an airplane wing and the ocean
an airplane wing over a beach


We flew south past the airport and caught a sunset over Male before turning back north and crossing the highway to land in the seaplane bay. After we touched down we had a long taxi over to the docks where we got off and headed for the waiting Westin van.

an airplane wing over water
a beach with waves and a plane flying over it
a road with motorcycles and cars on it
a group of people on a dock with a plane and people walking


Our luggage followed along in a box van that met us at the curb outside of the departures hall. Our Westin concierge took us, along with the expat family through the crowd waiting to go through the security checkpoint to get into the check-in area and in 5 minutes he deposited us at the Etihad check in counters.

a group of people on a dock with a plane and people walking
a group of people with luggage on a cart
a car with people in the back seat
people standing in a building with a sign above them


Trans Maldivian and the hotels work to make the transfer as effortless as possible. Though the weather at times can make things difficult, the service is top notch. I wouldn’t hesitate (nor would I have much of a choice) to book a transfer with Trans Maldivian again.

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