Emirates airline is to double its flights between Dubai and Seychelles, it has been announced. By the end of this year, the route will be serviced by 14 flights every week – two a day. Starting on Monday, March 28, Emirates’ service will gradually increase to 12 weekly flights in the northern summer, with two more flights to be added to the winter schedule, making it a double-daily service.
“Compared to January 2010, we are increasing the capacity between Dubai and Seychelles by 350%,” said Majid Al Mualla, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations-West Asia and Indian Ocean, who was in Seychelles over the weekend for the Carnaval International de Victoria.
Seychelles Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Alain St Ange said: “We are overjoyed by Emirates’ announcement regarding the double-daily flights. This is in line with our new vision of Seychelles operating with open skies, thus ensuring our yield increases. The problem of demand and supply in terms of seat capacity is the past.”
Majid Al Mualla of Emirates further stated: “This is remarkable by any standards. The increase in frequency is the fruit of all our efforts and investment in promoting Seychelles across our network. Our recent campaigns have stepped up demand for the route, as well as opened up new feeder markets.
“The increasing number of tourists will welcome these extra flights as they will have more travel options and better connectivity.
“We see ourselves as partners of the Seychelles tourism industry, and we will continue to support it actively. We thank the Seychelles government for its trust and will work hand in hand with the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) to continue the marketing efforts that have been made. We are strengthening our commitment to Seychelles.”
During his visit, he also paid a courtesy call on President James Michel at State House. In a meeting with the President of Seychelles, Mr. Al Mualla said that Emirates regarded itself as partners of the Seychelles tourism industry and would continue to support it actively.
“We thank the government of the Seychelles for their trust and will work hand in hand with the Seychelles Tourism Board to continue the marketing efforts which have been undertaken,” he added.
Future campaigns will comprise familiarization trips for tour operators and media groups as well as special promotions, such as the recent Valentine’s Day offer targeting couples in Dubai.
In February, Emirates Holidays took part in the Abu Dhabi Bridal Show together with the Seychelles Tourism Board to promote Seychelles a honeymoon destination while its annual brochure – A World of Choice – dedicates a prominent part to the Seychelles.
Emirates also participated in “Carnaval International de Victoria” in the Seychelles this past weekend with its own colorful float carrying a giant globe and 12 Emirates cabin crew. Additionally, it supported the event by creating awareness around it in new markets such as Czech Republic, Spain, Brazil, Russia, the Middle East, India, Korea, China, and Japan.
In 2010, 176,088 tourists visited the Seychelles, representing an increase of 11% over the previous year. Since the launch of Emirates’ service to the archipelago in 2005, the number of tourists from Russia and Asia has doubled. The Seychelles welcomed 9,929 tourists from the Middle East last year.
To give a boost to inbound travel, Emirates Holidays, the tour operating arm of Emirates, is currently promoting special packages in various markets including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.