Beond, a new Maldives-based airline, will launch a fully luxurious Airbus A319 with lie-flat seats next month. The airline has called itself the world’s first “premium leisure” airline.
Beond unveiled its first aircraft in Dubai last week, featuring a graphite gray livery with gold trim. The Airbus A319 has an interior business class cabin with 44 reclining seats arranged in a 2-2 configuration.
Currently, it is the only aircraft in Beond’s fleet. However, the new airline, founded in January 2022, plans to acquire a long-range aircraft with 68 seats by the end of the year and add more aircraft in spring 2024.
“It’s aimed at people looking for luxury travel experiences,” said Tero Taskila, founder and CEO of Beond. “We really have a niche where the product has been designed with the luxury and leisure traveler in mind.”
The airline, based in the Maldives but headquartered in Dubai, is hopeful of rapid expansion following the launch of its first commercial flights scheduled for November this year.
Beond will initially launch with just three routes from Malé, the capital of the Maldives, to destinations in the Middle East and Europe, but has plans to add at least two more routes by March 2024.
Its first commercial flight is scheduled for November 9 and will carry premium passengers from Riyadh King Khalid International Airport (RUH) to Male Velana International Airport (MLE). It will then launch flights from Munich International Airport (MUC) and Zurich Airport (ZRH) to the Maldivian capital on November 15 and 17, respectively.
Following these initial routes, Beond plans to connect the Maldives with Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) and Milan’s Malpensa Airport (MXP) in March 2024.
Taskila’s ambitions involve growing Beond’s fleet to 32 aircraft and more than 60 destinations to and from the Maldives over the next five years.
“Our goal is simple: take our guests to the most exclusive and unspoilt destinations where they can unleash their inner explorer on the most memorable vacation of their lives,” Taskila said.
“Today is just the beginning of our vision for our customers, embodied in this beautiful aircraft, inside and out. We couldn’t be happier to showcase it in the Maldives, our home, and in Dubai.
“We would like to especially thank the Maldives government and our supporters there, the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority and the SIMDI Group, each of whom believed in our vision of a new airline in the Maldives. “Our team will do everything possible to bring tourists to this beautiful nation.”
Jonny Clark, the founder of The air of designhopes Beond “will become the next La Compagnie, the only other all-business class long-haul airline that has stood the test of time.”
“I love the interiors, the monochrome finish and the design details that Beond offers on the surface, but now it’s time to say how the lounge offering, food and beverage and other amenities come together to complete the brand experience “Clark says. .
“Our only small complaint with Optimares seats, like those found on Hawaiian’s A330, is the fact that the TV monitors must be delivered as tablets and fit on the TV arm that extends from the seat. Actually, on a long flight this is not a problem, but as the screens must be stowed for take-off and landing on a one-stop flight via Dubai from Europe, it will become an increasingly noticeable annoyance. for a flight that would otherwise be a luxury product.”
Additionally, there is a slight drawback to Beond’s initial flights that some people may not consider luxurious. Some European flights will have to stop in Dubai to refuel. However, this drawback may be resolved with the airline’s planned adoption of the long-range Airbus A321neos.