Air Seychelles’ most action-packed week ever is drawing to a close
It is now just a week ago that Air Seychelles took delivery of a brand-new Airbus A320, the missing link in the company’s new strategy to expand their reach and link the archipelago to Dar es Salaam
It is now just a week ago that Air Seychelles took delivery of a brand-new Airbus A320, the missing link in the company’s new strategy to expand their reach and link the archipelago to Dar es Salaam on the African mainland, Antananarivo in Madagascar, and Mumbai, the main aviation entry point to India.
With the new aircraft, aptly named “Amirantes,” this was perhaps a signal that like these remote islands belonging to the archipelago, the airline would also seek to go to remote places, integrated into the fleet just a matter of days before several inaugural flights took off. The new bilateral air service agreement with Tanzania, only signed about half a year ago, saw twice weekly flights launched on Monday this week, followed the next day by the inaugural flight to Madagascar. Third in line was the launch of Mumbai flights, opening up the subcontinent for visitors to the Seychelles, where they need no visa to enter, and which also creates a new linkage for the Indian expatriate community for instance in Tanzania, which can now fly with Air Seychelles to Mumbai with the fastest connection on the market. The connecting flight from Mahe to Mumbai leaves less than two hours after the Dar flight has touched down, and on the return it is again under two hours before passengers take off for the African mainland.
It emerged during discussions at the Dar es Salaam launch that this was indeed a planned development, not just to rely on point-to-point passengers and cargo, but to offer a connection on to India, where from Mumbai another Etihad partner airline, Jet Airways, will no doubt be happy to fly Air Seychelles passengers across their extensive Indian domestic network.
With the launch of the flights to Antananarivo, now also another connection has come on line to link one more Vanilla Island with the Seychelles, the other connections being flights by Air Seychelles to Mauritius and by Air Austral from Reunion to Mahe. This will in time to come no doubt support added inter-island itineraries where foreign visitors can with relative ease reach more than one of the Vanilla Island members and perhaps also somewhere down the line support cruise ship itineraries with passenger exchanges possible at several waypoints.
All said and done, the arrival of the airline’s third jet aircraft – Air Seychelles – also operates a fleet of DHC-6-300 and DHC6-400 aircraft, three each to be precise – that will see a rise in destinations from previously five – Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Paris, Mauritius, and Johannesburg – to now eight; no mean achievement for any airline and a major accomplishment for Air Seychelles which only three years ago was at the brink of closure.