Christmas eve saw “Aviation Santa’s” latest gift for Air Seychelles being dispatched from the Twin Otter factory in Canada, when the very first state-of-the-art, new generation, DHC6-400 aircraft commenced a series of ferry flights with a final destination of Mahe on January 11, 2011.
It was reportedly the first delivered commercial aircraft of the new generation Twin Otter, besides the test aircraft, of which the earlier initial version was already an established workhorse for safari aviation in Eastern Africa and a reliable part of the HM fleet for decades, connecting the various islands on Air Seychelles’ domestic network. Therefore, though being a small national airline in terms of number of aircraft and destinations, Air Seychelles nevertheless broke new ground and laid down the gauntlet to their competitors abroad and critics at home by boosting their domestic aircraft fleet, of course, hugely important to carry passengers from the international airport to the outlying islands, in particular the very popular Praslin.
The aircraft has been painted in a distinct new domestic livery reflecting the Creole spirit, also, of course, the main slogan for the airline on international routes.
On arrival in Mahe, the aircraft will be formally christened Spirit of Curieuse following the airline’s tradition to name their fleet after the various islands of the archipelago and will then enter domestic service at the beginning of February 2011, joining up with a fleet of three other Twin Otters and one Short 360-300.
Said the airline’s Executive Chairman Capt. David Savy on the occasion to eTN: “The acquisition of a brand new DHC6-400 Twin Otter aircraft is testimony to our commitment to our [tourism] trade partners. This is a very significant investment and is in the region of SCR 56 million rupees at a time when the airline industry is cash strapped.”