Air Seychelles Set to Return to Parisian Market

Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, has announced, subject to regulatory approval, it will relaunch flights to Paris as part of a significant expansion to its international schedule which will also include the introduction of several new regional routes in 2014 as additional aircraft are introduced into the airline’s fleet.

From February 2014, Air Seychelles will operate two return services per week between Seychelles and Paris-Orly via Abu Dhabi with an Airbus A330-200 aircraft, configured with 18 flat-bed Business Class seats and 236 Economy seats.  The new Paris Orly service will complement the existing double-daily services to Paris Charles de Gaulle from its shareholder Etihad Airways.

The French capital was a key part of the Air Seychelles network prior to its equity partnership with United Arab Emirates (UAE) national carrier, Etihad Airways.  The carrier operated up to six weekly flights to Paris Charles de Gaulle but ended its operation in February 2012.  And, despite the suspension of its own services, Paris remains one of the top five O&D markets from the Indian Ocean Island.

Joel Morgan, Seychelles’ Minister for Home Affairs & Transport and Board Chairman, said: “I am delighted to see Air Seychelles return to France, Seychelles’ top market.  Travellers boarding the flight in Paris Orly will once again enjoy a seamless Air Seychelles operated flight and experience our unique and famous Creole warmth on their entire journey to Mahé.

Air Seychelles’ Abu Dhabi schedule offers one of the fastest routes for travel between Seychelles and major European destinations, and has built a solid position in this important historical market through a codeshare on the Etihad service to the French capital.  “With our new service, we will be able to provide a fresh option for overseas visitors to travel to Seychelles on our flights, and we expect further significant growth from Europe,” added Morgan.

The airline has also unveiled a new regional network plan, subject to approvals, which will see significant expansion of its operations in the Indian Ocean from the fourth quarter of 2014, following the delivery of an Airbus A319.  This will include the launch of regional services to Antananarivo, Reunion and Mumbai, an increase in services to Abu Dhabi from seven to eleven per week, offering a double daily service with equity partner Etihad and the development of a network designed to maximise connectivity through the Seychelles.

The new regional schedule will see Air Seychelles operate three return flights per week to Mauritius and Mumbai, two return flights per week to Antananarivo and Reunion.  The airline will also offer three return flights per week to Hong Kong, three return flights per week to Johannesburg alongside the twice weekly new Paris link.  Altogether, the airline will see its weekly international services nearly double from 16 to 29 flights per week.

“The new schedule will see Air Seychelles spread its regional footprint and build a solid position that will establish us as the carrier of choice in the Indian Ocean,” said Cramer Ball, chief executive officer, Air Seychelles.  “It also greatly increases options for travel to and from the Indian Ocean, and with our new flights to Paris-Orly, we will also enjoy network feed provided by our convenient schedule times over Abu Dhabi, contributing to the bottom line.”

Like Paris, the new service to Mumbai represents the resumption of former a route (operated between November 2004 and April 2005) but Antananarivo and Reunion have not been served by the carrier over the past ten years, according to schedule data from OAG Analyser

In the table below we look in greater detail at the largest O&D markets for Seychelles International Airport, the main international air gateway to the island archipelago. 

SCHEDULED PASSENGER DEMAND FROM SEYCHELLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (bi-directional O&D passengers; 2012)

Rank

Destination Airport

Estimated Passengers

% Share

1

Dubai (DXB)

62,057

11.4 %

2

Abu Dhabi (AUH)

59,031

10.8 %

3

Johannesburg (JNB)

35,793

6.6 %

4

Paris (CDG)

33,289

6.1 %

5

Milan (MXP)

29,564

5.4 %

6

Mauritius (MRU)

26,388

4.8 %

7

Frankfurt (FRA)

25,840

4.7 %

8

Rome (FCO)

22,461

4.1 %

9

Moscow (DME)

20,581

3.8 %

10

Reunion (RUN)

19,775

3.6 %

TOTAL

544,579

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