AIR SEYCHELLES WELCOMES THEIR FIRST NEW A330-200 AIRCRAFT
Yesterday saw the arrival of the national airlines first new A 330-200 aircraft, painted in the livery of Air Seychelles and welcomed by none other than President James Alix Michel, in the presence of the Minister of Home Affairs and Transport, who is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the airline Joel Morgan and a range of other government and business officials invited to the party.
HM 019 arrived from Abu Dhabi, the hub of Air Seychelles partner Etihad, where the aircraft had been readied for deployment, and operated by a Seychellois crew after they had all undergone type conversion courses from the previously used B767-300 to the new Airbus models.
The aircraft was baptized Aldabra after the remote atoll some 1.000 kilometres distant from the main island of Mahe and will now once again Fly the Creole Spirit between Mahe and Abu Dhabi as well as to Johannesburg. A second A330-200 is due to join the fleet by January 2013 latest at which time non-stop flights to Beijing will commence to serve the Chinese market for the archipelago, one of the fastest growing in recent years, with direct airlinks.
The new bird now offers the lastest in seat technology with flat beds in business class and individual entertainment system access from every seat in economy class, a new enhanced menu but still features the warm and genuine hospitality of the Seychelles from the moment one steps on board.
Cramer Bell, CEO of Air Seychelles, was quoted to have said as he stepped off the inaugural flight: Today marks a historic moment, a turning point towards a brighter future. The A330 aircraft is not only younger and more fuel-efficient, but it also boasts excellent new product and services never before seen at Air Seychelles. To see our pilots and cabin crew again working proudly in uniform also shows how far Air Seychelles has come in a relatively short time. With our colourful aircraft livery and world-class service, we will bring the Creole spirit to every destination we fly to.
Chairman of the Board and Minister of Home Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan added: To see the A330, emblazoned with Air Seychelles unique livery, touch down at Seychelles International Airport was a moment of patriotic pride for all Seychellois. Only three months ago, we announced that we would refresh the fleet by retiring our Boeing 767 and bringing in two Airbus A330s. We made a promise and it has been kept. I am thrilled to now welcome our first Airbus, Aldabra, to the Air Seychelles fleet and we look forward to watching it fly the Creole spirit for many years to come before then inviting President Michel to do the honour of cutting a symbolic tape to officially inaugurate the new aircraft and ring in a new beginning for the airline.
President Michel was hailed for his foresight, courage and vision in repositioning the national airline ahead of the great turmoil Indian Ocean airlines find themselves faced with by giving Air Seychelles a head start and finding it a strong and excellent strategic partner, being Etihad Airways, the worst is behind it. The company has in record time modernized its fleet and right-sized its operation and is now set to return to profitability, flying 8 times a week under a codeshared operation with Etihad to Abu Dhabi.
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