Maia Tawhiao is a character in 80 Days. She is a "rubenesque" New Zealand woman and the captain of her own airship, the Fruit Fly, of which she is the sole crew member. Passepartout can meet her aboard the Fruit Fly, which she is currently flying from Auckland to Lima carrying a large shipment of kiwi fruits to sell in Peru.
Perhaps owing to the large amount of time she spends around them she has a particular fondness for the kiwi fruits that she flies between continents, incorporating them into almost every meal. She boasts that she is a both a pioneer of the trade of the fruits to South America as well as their use as a plantation crop. Secretly she is worried that her business will become obsolete once people realize that kiwi fruits can be grown in California, and subsequently shipped across the Americas much easier and faster than crossing the Pacific. That inevitability scares her because she doesn't know what else she could do besides shipping kiwi fruit.
Although once married, she currently captains the airship of her now deceased husband. While she doesn't usually like to talk about her husband, it is believed that he died in the airship explosion that took Maia's hearing, leaving her deaf. Despite her disability she is a very talkative woman, though she needs to be able to see someone's lips to be able to understand what they're saying. In reality she is very lonely aboard her airship all by herself, and the rare passenger that comes aboard is always a welcome surprise.