Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, today reported its fourth year of profitability in a row, with net profits of USD2.1 million in 2015, on revenues of USD105.4 million.
Audited by KPMG, these financial statements also reflect growth in passenger traffic and strong cargo volumes. A total of 522,873 passengers traveled with the airline in 2015, 22 percent more than in 2014.
Air Seychelles passenger-carrying capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs), increased by 7 percent to 1.7 billion by the end of 2015. Despite this increase, the airline’s seat load factor rose by 6 percentage points from 60 percent in 2014 to 66 percent in 2015.
Cargo services continue to be a major area of growth for Air Seychelles, with the airline carrying 4,415 tons of freight, primarily driven by wide-body operations on Johannesburg and Paris routes.
Roy Kinnear, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said: “We are proud to have been able to deliver on our mandate, which was to achieve strong growth, to become the region’s leading carrier and, most importantly, to do so as a commercially viable and profitable enterprise, while remaining one of the key drivers of economic growth in Seychelles.
“The profit we have delivered in 2015 is, above all, a great sign for the future. We have the right foundations in place going forward.
”We owe thanks to our two shareholders – the Government of the Republic of Seychelles and Etihad Airways – for their ongoing support. I would also like to thank our staff for their contribution and hard work, without which none of this would have been possible.”
Joël Morgan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Transport and Chairman of Air Seychelles, said: “The profit is another wonderful result for our national airline and for the future of aviation in Seychelles and the Indian Ocean region.
“Air Seychelles has enhanced the image of our country. Our national airline is often the first contact for visitors who come to Seychelles. The level and quality of service, as well as the look and ambiance of the aircraft, are the images of the exotic destination Seychelles we would like to send to the world.
“We will continue to consolidate Air Seychelles position by making investments that will allow the airline to continue on its current trajectory of further growth.”
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said: “Air Seychelles is delivering on both levels of our equity investment strategy. It has extended our network, adding new revenue opportunities and sharing in the economies of scale our grouping of airlines can achieve.
“Importantly, it is also delivering on its own commercial and business goals, with another year of profitability. We are delighted with the progress Air Seychelles has made.”
Since July 2015 the airline has undertaken a number of initiatives outlined in its turnaround plan to transform and bring efficiencies into the national carrier and turn it into a profitable, stable, reliable and strong airline to serve Seychelles and the broader Indian Ocean region.
The airline brought onto its own registry three new generation Airbus aircraft, with two A320s and one A330 added to the fleet. As a result, it was able to tap into new markets and grow the number of frequencies in its regional network.
In October 2015, a brand new DHC-6 Twin Otter landed in Mahé. “Isle of Denis” is the final of three DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft to be delivered to Air Seychelles as part of an order placed with Viking Air Limited in 2013. The first two aircraft joined the domestic fleet in 2014, one year ahead of schedule, replacing the DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 300 and Shorts SD-360. Today, Air Seychelles domestic fleet counts six Twin Otter aircraft that are perfect for the operational demands of island hopping in Seychelles.
During 2015, Air Seychelles network of codeshare destinations rose from 30 to 61, through partners including airberlin, Alitalia, Etihad Airways, Jet Airways, NIKI, South African Airways and Air France. Partnerships, coupled with the induction of the jet fleet, introduction of direct flights to Paris and increase of frequencies in the region, have been a key driver of the significant growth in passenger numbers in 2015.
Of the total passengers carried, 30 per cent were contributed by partner airlines, generating 41 per cent of Air Seychelles’ passenger revenue, demonstrating the importance of growth through partnerships.
Air Seychelles’ growth has created a significant number of new jobs for Seychellois nationals. During 2015, the airline increased its workforce by 128 new professionals. With the focus remaining on providing an excellent guest experience, the Ground Services department of Air Seychelles has employed 55 service professionals at Mahe International Airport.
Air Seychelles continued to place much emphasis on personal development and succession planning, investing significantly in the development of its workforce and introducing a range of training programmes for its employees, who have access to some of the most advanced educational facilities in the world through the airline’s partner, Etihad Airways.
Hundreds of Air Seychelles staff have now completed these programmes and are building strong careers at the airline.
Equally committed to its community, Air Seychelles was proud to make a significant contribution to Seychelles culture, health, children and other community programs, through more than 500 gifted tickets and free cargo transportation.
Mr Kinnear said: “While the 2015 results are a sure sign that we are on the right path, we must not rest on our laurels and, in 2016, we are committed to accelerating our growth. We will do this by continuing to grow our route network both organically and through an expansion of our codeshare partnerships. We will also continue to invest in our products and services to ensure that we provide the best possible guest experience both in the air and on the ground.
“Air Seychelles is proud to play an increasingly important part in supporting the further growth of the Seychelles economy, particularly in developing tourism and trade, while creating employment opportunities for Seychellois nationals across the broader economy.”