Indian Ocean carrier Air Seychelles has confirmed that alongside the launch of a new link to Hong Kong via Abu Dhabi, it will boost frequencies on its existing routes to Johannesburg and Mauritius during this year’s Northern summer schedule which commences in late March 2013. The enhanced flight offering is made possible by the arrival of a second Airbus A330-200 and will double the airline’s weekly international services, from eight to 16 supporting growing demand from both business and leisure travellers.
The airline confirms the introduction of a third weekly rotation from Mahe to Johannesburg and Mauritius. The flights to Johannesburg will also move to daytime departures and arrivals from the current overnight services, which will greatly enhance connectivity across South Africa, particularly to Cape Town and Durban. The change will enable connections to Cape Town to increase from 31 to 45 per week, while connections to Durban will increase from 22 to 38 per week. The new Johannesburg schedule also allows more convenient flight connections to other locations within South Africa, increasing from 24 to 61 per week, while connections from OR Tambo International Airport to the rest of Africa will increase from 29 to 72 per week.
The new Hong Kong service, marking Air Seychelles’ return to the Asian market will mean flights to Abu Dhabi will increase from four to seven return flights per week. Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi-based 40 per cent shareholder of Air Seychelles, will also operate three services per week on the route. The partner airlines’ combined schedule of 10 services per week will ensure daily connectivity on the Seychelles-Abu Dhabi route, with greatly enhanced onward link options from Etihad’s Abu Dhabi International Airport hub.
Under a codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways in place since January 2012, the combined network currently offers 440 convenient flight connections per week from the Seychelles to destinations across the globe. This will increase to 496 connections from March 24, 2013, including seven more weekly links to Europe, 18 across the Middle East, 27 into Asia and additional connectivity to Australasia.
“We have seen strong performance across our existing international network in the course of what has been a turn-around year for Air Seychelles. By bringing additional flights to these high-demand markets and increasing our connectivity to emerging markets, we are creating a solid foundation for the future of Air Seychelles, Seychelles tourism and our home economy,” said Cramer Ball, Chief Executive Officer, Air Seychelles.
“The new schedule supports the launch of our services to Hong Kong next year, which will mark our entry into Asia, a vibrant and booming region which can be a huge driver of tourism to the Seychelles. These are essential components of the plan which will see Air Seychelles established as a high-quality, profitable airline, as well as the carrier of choice within the Indian Ocean,” he added.
Air Seychelles this year announced third quarter revenues of US$13.8 million, up 23 per cent on the second quarter, as the airline’s restructuring program took effect in the drive towards profitability in 2012. Growth in revenue was led by a 51 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in passengers.