Emirates, the award-winning airline today
launched thrice-weekly non-stop services to the Seychelles, when its first
outbound flight EK 705 departed from Dubai International Airport at 02:10.The Emirates Airbus A330-200 offering 54 seats in Business class and 183 in
Economy, along with up to 15 tonnes of cargo, landed on Mahe Island in the
Seychelles at 06:45.
The Seychelles - the first new destination to join the Emirates network in
2005 - is the airline’s 78th route. It also signals Emirates arrival in the
fifth of the Indian Ocean islands it serves, the others being Mauritius,
Maldives, Sri Lanka and Java (Indonesia.)
A delegation of senior Emirates officials was at the Dubai airport to mark
the departure of the first flight. Leading the delegation was Ghaith Al
Ghaith, Emirates’ Executive Vice President Commercial Operations Worldwide
who was accompanied by Nabil Sultan, Senior Vice President Commercial
Operations West Asia and Indian Ocean, Hamad Obaidalla, Senior Vice
President Commercial Operations Gulf, Middle East & Iran and Mohammed H
Mattar, Senior Vice President Airport Services (Dubai). All passengers on
the first flight were presented with a commemorative box of chocolates at
the check-in counter.
The new service provides travellers from Europe, Middle East and the Indian
sub-continent with a convenient one-stop connection to the Seychelles, via
the airline’s Dubai hub.
Emirates Group Chairman His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said:
“This new Emirates route was made possible thanks to the cooperation of the
Seychelles government. The island is an increasingly popular destination for
leisure travellers, and the government’s decision to allow visa-free entry
for all nationalities has made it even more accessible.”
The Seychelles comprise more than a hundred beautiful coral islands that
offer a multitude of options for outdoor and water sport activities, as well
as rejuvenating spas. It is the postcard-perfect tropical archipelago that
meets and exceeds the reality check throughout its visitors’ sojourns.
The Emirates network spans 13 destinations in the Middle East and 22 in
Europe (including cargo-only destinations). Connecting times from most of
those destinations to the Seychelles via Dubai are less than three hours. As
a result, Emirates expects its service to not just serve the existing market
better but also to open up a range of new leisure, business and air cargo
The Seychelles is renowned for its tuna. Emirates SkyCargo will enable the
island’s exporters of fresh and frozen seafood to send their products to
Middle East markets and points beyond. It will also support the local
tourist industry’s needs by facilitating the import of perishables and high
To boost awareness of the Seychelles and the new Emirates services, the
airline has already commenced promotional activities across it global
network. For India, it organised a celebrity photo shoot in the Seychelles
that was covered in an exclusive travel supplement published by the
country’s leading newspaper, The Times of India.
In partnership with top tour operators, Emirates also recently introduced
all-inclusive packages to the Seychelles with a free stopover in Dubai.
In the Middle East, Emirates Holidays conducted a series of road shows
jointly with the Seychelles Tourism Marketing Authority (STMA). In addition,
a new 36-page colour brochure dedicated exclusively to the Seychelles was
launched in key Middle East cities including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat,
Bahrain, Doha, Damascus, Beirut and Kuwait.
The brochure features island-hopping tours, catamaran cruises and light
aircraft rides, and resort stays in all the main islands - Mahe, Praslin and
In Europe, the airline will be organising familiarisation trips for key
travel agents and news media to provide them with a first hand experience of
the destination. A group of agents and press members from key European
countries is expected to visit the Seychelles shortly.
Emirates flight EK705 departs from the ultra-modern Dubai International
Airport every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday at 02:10 and arrives in the
Seychelles at 06:45. The return flight EK706 takes off on the same days at
08:00 and arrives in Dubai at 12:30.