World Travel Market 2016: Air Seychelles reveals major European expansion
Air Seychelles has announced a major fleet and network expansion that will see the airline introduce a second Airbus A330 aircraft, commence non-stop services to Düsseldorf (Germany) and Durban (South Africa), and significantly strengthen its existing regional network in early 2017.
The airline plans to establish the air bridge between Seychelles and Germany on March 30th, 2017, by launching a twice-per-week service to Düsseldorf, in western Germany.
To further strengthen its European network, Air Seychelles will also upgrade its Paris service from three to four flights per week, with effect from March 28th, 2017, giving more travel options to holidaymakers visiting Seychelles from France.
Effective March 30th, 2017, the Seychelles flag carrier will also commence a twice-weekly service to South Africa’s port city of Durban, an important trade hub that is home to over three million people, complementing its existing five-a-week service to Johannesburg.
Roy Kinnear, chief executive, Air Seychelles, said: “Air Seychelles has grown extensively and robustly in 2016 and is now ready to embark on the next exciting chapter of its evolution, further enhancing air access to our archipelago and bringing more holidaymakers and business people to our shores.
“Both stakeholders, the Government of Seychelles and Etihad Airways fully support the airline’s plan to develop its European network by establishing a non-stop connection to Germany, a strategically-important market that is currently the second-largest source of inbound tourism after France.
“More than 29,200 people from Germany have visited Seychelles so far this year, representing an increase of nine per cent over 2015, demonstrating the importance of opening up air links to this part of the world.
“Together with the new service to Durban, additional flights to Paris and increased regional capacity, these developments will lay the foundations for solid long-term growth of the Seychelles national airline and country’s economy.”
The airline’s second Airbus A330 aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in the last week of March 2017 and will have a two cabin configuration with 18 Business Class and 236 Economy Class seats.
Kinnear said: “The addition of a second wide-body A330 to our fleet is set to open up significant growth opportunities, enabling Air Seychelles to extend its network footprint in Europe and the Indian Ocean region.
“The new Düsseldorf service is an exciting and much-awaited development that will provide travellers in Germany and the wider catchment area of Belgium, Holland and Scandinavia with attractive new travel options to Seychelles.”
“The German market has traditionally been a key source of leisure tourism for Seychelles and our Düsseldorf service has tremendous potential for driving passenger growth and stimulating the tourism economy of our islands.”
In addition to capturing point-to-point traffic flows, the Düsseldorf flight schedule has been carefully timed to give international travellers seamless connections over Seychelles to Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, Mauritius and Johannesburg.