Beond: The Pinnacle of Luxury Travel Takes Off from the Maldives
The all-business class airline will take passengers from Riyadh, Munich, and Zurich to the Maldives starting next month
October 16, 2023
Beond, a new Maldives-based airline, is launching with an all-luxury lie-flat seat Airbus A319 next month. The airline has dubbed itself the world’s first “premium leisure” carrier.
Beond unveiled its first aircraft in Dubai last week, featuring a graphite gray livery with gold trimmings. The Airbus A319 has an all-business class interior cabin with 44 lie-back seats arranged in a 2-2 configuration.
Currently, it is the only aircraft in Beond’s fleet. However, the startup airline, founded in January 2022, plans to acquire a long-range, 68-seat aircraft by the end of the year and add more planes in the spring of 2024.
“It’s targeting people seeking luxury experiences in travel,” said Tero Taskila, founder and chief executive of Beond. “We have, really, a niche where the product has been designed with the luxury, leisure traveler in mind.”
The airline, based in the Maldives but with headquarters in Dubai, has hopes for rapid expansion following the launch of its first commercial flights scheduled for this November.
Beond will initially launch with just three routes from Male, 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, taking premium passengers from Riyadh King Khalid International Airport (RUH) to Male Velana International Airport (MLE). It is then set to 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 has plans to connect the Maldives with Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) and Milan 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 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,” said Taskila.
“Today is but the beginning of our vision for our customers, embodied by this beautiful aircraft – inside and out. We could not be more pleased to showcase it in Maldives, our home, and Dubai.
“We wish especially to thank the government of Maldives and our supporters there, the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority and the SIMDI Group – each of whom believed in our vision for a new airline in Maldives. Our team will do its best to bring tourists to this beautiful nation.”
Jonny Clark, the founder of The Design Air, expects to see Beond “becoming the next La Compagnie, the only other long-haul all-business class carrier that has stood the test of time.”
“I love the interiors, monochromatic finish, and design flourishes that Beond is offering on the surface, but how the lounge offering, food and drink, and other amenities stack up to complete the brand experience is for time currently to tell,” Clark Says.
“Our only minor gripe with the Optimares seats, like that found on Hawaiian’s A330, is the fact the TV monitors have to be handed out as tablets and fit into the TV arm that comes out of the seat. In reality, on a long flight, this isn’t an issue, but as the screens have to be stowed for take-off and landing on a one-stop flight via Dubai from Europe, it will become an increasingly obvious annoyance to an otherwise luxurious product.”
Additionally, there is a minor drawback to Beond’s initial flights that may not be considered luxurious by some people. Certain European flights will need to stop in Dubai for refueling. Nevertheless, this inconvenience can be addressed with the airline’s planned adoption of long-range Airbus A321neos.