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Windwalking with Manta Air

Fathmath Shaahunaz
03 September 2019, MVT 10:49
The cabin crew of Manta Air during the music video shoot of 'Windwalker' inside the Dhaalu Airport hangar. PHOTO/MANTA AIR
Fathmath Shaahunaz
03 September 2019, MVT 10:49

With rock beats and an exuberant jam session in a hangar, Manta Air invites you to join them as they go “windwalking” in the airline’s official theme song video, which dropped during Eid al-Adha.

Wittly titled ‘Windwalker’, an urban term meaning one who walks on the winds to be wherever they are needed to spread positive energy, the song personifies Manta Air, which newly flew into the Maldivian aviation scene last February. The song brings across the airline’s promise to provide positive vibes to each and every passenger as an integral part of its services.

“We wanted a song that fully reflects the vibrant brand of Manta Air”, said Ahmed Yaamin Mohamed, the Marketing and Public Relations Manager at Manta Air.

Noting that Manta Air was the first airline in Maldives to produce its own theme song, he touched upon how the idea of ‘windwalker’ ties in with the airline’s goal to provide happiness and joy to all of its passengers.

“In Manta Air, every passenger is a VIP - from the moment they come onboard. We want to bring smiles to their faces, and keep them smiling throughout their journey.”

With this in mind, the song was composed by local musicians Ahmed Faizan (Fai) and Chippe, with lyrics by Naanu - three artists who fully embraced the concept of the progressive airline, and rose to the exciting challenge.

“I wrote the lyrics from Manta Air’s perspective,'' said Naanu, “personified as someone passionate about their work, who loves what they do everyday. It’s about taking the small, everyday things in life, and seeing them from a bigger perspective”.

“It’s about embracing a sensation of ecstasy”.

Windwalker also brings a modern sound with its upbeat, rock vibe. It was a deliberate choice, explained Fai and Chippe, in order to veer away from the common approaches of most major brands while appealing to the youth crowd.

Brand ambassadors for Manta Air, Mariyam Maeesha (C) and Arshad Ali (Kokko Kabans) (R) perform 'Windwalker' during the music video shoot held inside the Dhaalu Airport hangar. PHOTO/MANTA AIR

The song, infectious in its joy, is performed by the brand ambassadors for Manta Air: Mariyam Maeesha, the runner-up of Maldivian Idol’s Season 3, and Arshad Ali (Kokko Kabans), the lead singer of the local band ‘Kabans’. The music video, shot at Manta Air’s main hub, Dhaalu Airport on the island of Kudahuvadhoo, features the two ambassadors along with the airline crew whose “enthusiasm in the video is exactly what you would see in person, when travelling with Manta Air”, according to Maeesha.

“As the youngest in the crowd, it was an honour to be part of such a cool project,” said a smiling Maeesha. She praised the hard work put in by the officials of Manta Air and her fellow musicians, describing them as a “dream team”.

“The best part was being there with everyone. It was a huge effort by everyone involved. I got to make a lot of new friends, and it was a helluva fun experience!”

Kokko Kabans echoed her sentiments with gusto, laughing as he recalled the shoot. He revealed that it was the first studio recording for Kabans, who usually perform resort gigs around the country.

“It was a whole new experience, and we held an aftershow with everyone. The whole project was very exciting,” he said. “We received great feedback. People are praising the airline, and I’m very proud to be an ambassador”.

“Manta Air has proven that a journey can be fresh and exciting, even with a young vibe,'' added Fai.

The project was not without challenges, however. Yaamin noted that the highlight sequences shot inside Dhaalu Airport’s hangar posed great difficulty due to high security. Emphasising that hangar shoots had hardly ever been done in the Maldives, he hailed Manta Air’s engineers for ensuring all safety measures to make the sequences a reality.

During the music video shoot of 'Windwalker' inside the Dhaalu Airport hangar. PHOTO/MANTA AIR

“A lot of people also asked why we didn’t approach foreign [songwriters] to make the song”, Yaamin further shared. Gesturing at the local musicians Manta Air brought together for the project, he declared, “Our point is that there are talents, musical talents, right here in Maldives and we wanted to take this opportunity to showcase that”.

Manta Air’s efforts well and truly paid off. Within two weeks of the release, the music video gained over 85,000 views on the airline’s official Facebook page, while users hailed the song as “beautiful”.

Yaamin shared that public reception of ‘Windwalker’ echoed that of the airline services after Manta Air commenced flights in late February.

“Feedback on Manta operations have been very good and positive overall ... especially with regard to our cabin crew,'' he said with a look of quiet pride on his face.

Yaamin assured that Manta Air’s customers can look forward to more campaigns from the airline in the future, as well as a nationwide network of destinations. The airline currently operates from Velana International Airport in the capital region, to Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu Atoll and Dharavandhoo in Baa Atoll. In the future, Manta Air plans to begin flights to Thimarafushi in Thaa Atoll, Gan in Addu Atoll, Kaadedhdhoo in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, and Hanimaadhoo in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, as well as launch seaplane operations.

As the airline gears up to expand its outreach, Yaamin invited travellers to see for themselves the experience of windwalking with Manta Air.

“With Manta Air, your holidays starts not at the destination, but the moment you meet us”.

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