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Emirates Chairman Inaugurates Seychelles Office

Emirates, the fast-growing,
Dubai-based international airline inaugurated the first of its two new
offices in the Seychelles today. Emirates Group Chairman His Highness Sheikh
Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum cut the ribbon to officially open the airline’s
elegant premises at 5th June Avenue & Manglier Street, Victoria. Leading a delegation of senior Emirates officials, Sheikh Ahmed arrived in
the Seychelles to celebrate the airline’s thrice weekly, non-stop services
between the islands and Dubai, launched last month.

Besides Sheikh Ahmed, the Emirates delegation comprised the airline’s
President Tim Clark; Ghaith Al Ghaith, Executive Vice President Commercial
Operations Worldwide; Nabil Sultan, Senior Vice President Commercial
Operations West Asia and Indian Ocean; and Hans Haensel, Senior Vice
President Destination and Leisure Management.


The Seychelles is the airline’s 78th destination and the first one to join
the Emirates network in 2005. It is also the fifth Indian Ocean island
served by the airline, the others being Mauritius, Maldives, Sri Lanka and
Java (Indonesia).



Emirates operates an Airbus A330-200 on the new route, offering 54 seats in
Business class and 183 in Economy plus up to 17 tonnes of cargo capacity.


Sheikh Ahmed who earlier in the day visited Mr. James Alix Michel, President
of the Republic of Seychelles, said: “Emirates appreciates the opportunity
that the Government of the Republic of Seychelles has given us to launch
this direct route between our two countries. Travellers from and to the
Seychelles will benefit from our new services. “


He added: “The new Emirates flights provide customers from Europe, Middle
East and the Indian sub-continent with a convenient one-stop connection to
the Seychelles, via our airline’s Dubai hub.”


Emirates’ well-established reputation for superior customer service, both in
the air and on the ground, can now be experienced first hand by the
Seychellois. Well-trained Emirates staff at the airline’s town office will
offer them the highest level of care. 


Mohammed Ahmed bin Ghannam, Emirates Area Manager Seychelles said: “It is a
proud moment for our team which has been working diligently since September
to ensure a smooth and seamless start of our local operations.”


He added: “I am confident that our office will set a new standard of service
in the Seychelles for the islands’ business and leisure travellers. We will
do our utmost to ensure that our customers are served quickly and


In addition to the Emirates town office, potential travellers can also avail
of the local travel agents and the Emirates website - - to make bookings.


The Seychelles comprises more than one hundred granite and coral islands,
famed for their stunning white beaches and sparkling blue waters. It is the
postcard-perfect tropical archipelago that meets and exceeds the reality
check throughout its visitors’ sojourns.   


The latest statistics indicate that the average length of stay in the
Seychelles is in excess of 10 nights - one of the highest among leisure


Emirates is committed to helping to develop the Seychelles’ potential as a
tourist destination. Its extensive destination network will help to grow new
business, leisure and cargo markets for the islands.


Most of Emirates’ 13 Middle Eastern and 22 European routes (including
cargo-only destinations) connect to the Seychelles via Dubai in less than
three hours, thereby facilitating increased tourism and trade flows. The
Seychelles’ tourist income for 2003 was estimated at 708 Million Rupees
(US$127.44 million.) 


The Seychelles will now be able to export its fresh and frozen seafood -
including its renowned tuna - to Middle East markets and points beyond.
Emirates SkyCargo will also support the local tourist industry’s needs by
facilitating the import of perishables and high end goods


Emirates is also supporting the local economy through its investments in the
new airport and city centre offices and the new jobs that they create.
Eighty per cent of the Emirates Seychelles team that handles airport
operations, sales and reservations and ticketing is comprised of Seychellois


Since September, when Emirates announced its decision to start flying to the
Seychelles, the airline has undertaken a worldwide promotional and publicity
blitz to boost awareness of the picturesque islands.


Seven key Middle East countries including UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Syria,
Lebanon and Kuwait were given a taste of the Seychelles at a series of road
shows jointly organised by Emirates Holidays and the Seychelles Tourist
Marketing Authority, during which a new, exclusive 36-page holiday brochure
was launched. Emirates Holidays is also running promotions in leading Arabic
and English media.


In India, Emirates in partnership with top tour operators recently
introduced special all-inclusive holiday tours to the islands. The airline
also organized celebrity photo-shoots in the Seychelles which were published
in India’s leading print media. And in Europe, the airline is currently
organising familiarisation trips for key travel agents to provide them with
a first hand experience of the destination.


In addition, a 16-strong UAE media group currently is touring the
breathtakingly beautiful islands, and preparations are underway to host
press groups from other Middle East and European countries.


Emirates flight EK706 departs from the Seychelles every Tuesday, Saturday
and Sunday at 8:00 am and arrives in Dubai at 12:30 pm. Inbound flight EK
705 takes off from the ultra-modern Dubai International Airport on the same
days at 2:10 am and arrives in the Seychelles at 6:45 am.