Etihad, Abu Dhabi’s national airline and 40 percent owner of Air Seychelles, has announced daily flights effective May 15th between Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam as part of an extensive new codeshare agreement with Dutch national airline KLM.
The daily A330-200 service between the two cities will be codeshared with KLM, while the Dutch carrier will increase their own flights also to daily connections. The codeshare agreement includes the onward destination of Seychelles as travelers from the Netherlands can then connect to the archipelago via Abu Dhabi, from where they will have as many as 10 connections to choose from, operated by both Etihad and Air Seychelles under their code share arrangements.
KLM increase to daily flights between Amsterdam and Abu Dhabi will also offer Dutch travelers and those connecting in Amsterdam from the KLM network, two daily frequencies between the Netherland’s main international airport and the UAE capital city.
Besides offering the Seychelles as a codeshare destination, Etihad has also confirmed that a further 12 destinations from the Etihad network will be added to the KLM codeshared destination list while in turn Etihad will gain access to another 14 European destinations served by KLM.
Most tourism stakeholders in the Seychelles had not learned of this latest development by the time of publishing this article but at least one regular source came back with this comment overnight: ‘This is good news for Seychelles. Even as a code shared flight, passengers from Holland or from the rest of the KLM network, will now be able to fly to Mahe with one ticket and the bags checked through. The two daily flights from Holland to Abu Dhabi can then connect to any of the 10 flights Air Seychelles and Etihad have between Mahe and Abu Dhabi by May, which gives tourists plenty of opportunity to visit us. The upcoming tourism shows in Europe will for sure focus on this latest development and will be promoted by the airlines and the Seychelles delegation no doubt’.
Etihad’s involvement in Air Seychelles since early 2012 has been broadly seen as beneficial to Air Seychelles even though strong sentiments remain that for instance Paris should be served again by nonstop flights rather than having to connect via Abu Dhabi to reverse the trend of significantly reduced visitor numbers to the Seychelles from France.