Air Seychelles continues to build its presence in Europe with the expansion of its codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways to include flights to Athens and Belgrade.
The latest deal between Etihad Airways and Air Seychelles brings to 12 the number of European cities available to Air Seychelles on Etihad Airways’ network including London and Manchester (United Kingdom), Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Munich (Germany), Milan and Rome (Italy), Geneva and Zurich (Switzerland), Brussels (Belgium), Dublin (Ireland), and Paris (France).
Manoj Papa, Air Seychelles chief executive, said: “This expansion adds two important cities to our network, making Europe more accessible to our customers and strengthening our brand presence in this important region.
“It also builds on the hard work of the Seychelles government, which has signed new air services agreements with Greece and Serbia, and deepens our successful partnership with Etihad Airways.
“The expansion will strengthen feed onto our network, and boost trade and tourism in support of our mandate to be an economic enabler to the archipelago.”
Air Seychelles operates nine weekly Abu Dhabi-Seychelles services on a two-class aircraft, which combined with Etihad Airways’ four services a week, provides a near double-daily service between Seychelles and Abu Dhabi.
Air Seychelles also recently launched a twice-per-week service to Antananarivo, the bustling capital of Madagascar.
The inaugural flight, HM755, touched down at Ivato International Airport, becoming the island carrier’s fourth point in its Indian Ocean and Africa network, after Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg and Mauritius.
Operated on an Airbus A320 with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats, the new service offers a combined capacity of over 2,100 seats per month.
Papa said: “We are delighted to launch this twice-weekly service to Antananarivo, a rapidly growing city of over two million people and the economic and cultural heart of Madagascar.
“With an annual cargo capacity of over 370 tonnes on our Airbus A320, this service will facilitate not only increased flows of tourism into Seychelles, but also larger volumes of trade.
“This reinforces our commitment to grow the national economy of the Seychelles.”
Business and leisure travellers between Mahé and Antananarivo can now enjoy convenient access to the world’s fourth-largest island.
Through the airline’s global network, the new flights also offer seamless connections to destinations in Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and beyond.
Joël Morgan, Seychelles’ minister of home affairs and transport and chairman of Air Seychelles, said: “As a member of the Indian Ocean Commission and an important emerging market in the Indian Ocean, we are thrilled to add Madagascar to our regional network.
“Famed for its unique wildlife – five per cent of all known animal and plant species can be found here – Madagascar is currently experiencing a boom in ecotourism and accelerated economic growth.
“With our new service we are well-poised to cater to the growing demand for air connectivity between Madagascar, Seychelles and beyond.”
He added: “Our bilateral ties have deepened and widened across many different sectors over the last two decades and with this service we can look forward to enhancing our relations further, with more cultural exchanges, technical cooperation and people-to-people contact.”
Air Seychelles was established in 1978 and began long-haul service in 1983. The airline currently offers international flights to Abu Dhabi, Antananarivo, Dar es Salaam, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Mauritius, Mumbai and Paris. Air Seychelles also offers more than 200 domestic scheduled flights a week throughout the archipelago, including domestic charter services.
As the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, Air Seychelles is a pillar of tourism, the island nation’s strongest and growing economic sector. The airline maintains a strategic partnership with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and 40 per cent stakeholder.