MNDF carries out first operation using Dornier flight gifted by India

Patient brough to Male' city from Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital being taken off from the Dornier flight | Photo: MNDF

Male’, Maldives – Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has carried out it’s first operation using the Dornier flight which was gifted by the Indian government.

This was a medical evacuation of a 78-year-old in critical condition who was taken from Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital to Male’ city last night.

The flight which was gifted by the Indian government is based at Hdh. Hanimaadhoo airport. The aircraft was delivered to the Maldives on August 29, 2020 and has been a major topic of controversy in the country of the Indian military presence in Maldives.

According to the Indian High Commission, the aircraft will be operated under the command of Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), although India will cover the cost of operations. Over the controversial comments, Chief of Defence force Major General Abdulla Shamaal repeatedly denied the rumors, stating the aircraft would be only used to monitor the Maldivian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for illegal fisheries, search and rescues and for evacuation operations.

Indian High Commission had previously told that the aircraft will be operated under the command of Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), although India will cover the cost of operations. MNDF also stated that they were training pilots to operate both this aircraft and the helicopters given by India.