Air Seychelles signs deal with Air Berlin to bring code shared flights to Germany to 38 a week

AIR SEYCHELLES SIGNS CODE SHARE DEAL WITH AIR BERLIN

The partnership between Air Seychelles and Abu Dhabi’s national airline Etihad, which holds 40 percent of the Air Seychelles shares and manages the carrier under a multiyear management agreement, is paying off handsomely and has now facilitated a new code share arrangement which come into place yesterday.

Air Berlin, Germany’s second largest airline and also in the Etihad ‘stable’ through a nearly 30 percent shareholding the Gulf based airline acquired two years ago, has put pen to paper with Air Seychelles and added Berlin and Duesseldorf as new codeshared destinations, connecting Mahe with two more German airports.

Air Seychelles already operated 26 codeshared flights to Germany via partner Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub on Etihad services and has now widened this number to 38 per week.

Cramer Ball, Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer was quoted saying: ‘More than 28,000 German tourists visited Seychelles in 2012, a 20 per cent increase over 2011. Germany is among our island’s fastest growing markets so these new air links are vital to our tourism sector, the Seychelles’ most important industry. The double-digit growth we are seeing from our new tourist markets supports our government’s vision for a national airline that connects Seychelles to key markets while delivering world-class service with unique Creole warmth.

We are confident the new connections and seamless flight experience will appeal to German travellers and ultimately deliver a new source of revenue, continuing Air Seychelles progress toward sustainable profitability in 2013 and beyond. Our partnership with our 40 per cent shareholder, Etihad Airways, is driving new growth as we capitalize not only on economies of scale, but also their relationships with other airlines. We can work together to identify partners which will optimally expand the reach of Air Seychelles across the globe, airberlin being a prime example’.

Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, Chief Executive Officer of Air Berlin was quoted in a media release received by this correspondent as having replied: ‘The codeshare agreement with Air Seychelles is equally important for Air Berlin in a number of ways. Firstly, we are able to make our route network even more attractive by enhancing the number of weekly codeshare connections to the Seychelles. Secondly, the new agreement once again illustrates the enormous potential that the partnership with Etihad Airways offers in terms of the joint marketing of the route network and the targeted use of synergies across all areas’.

Subject to regulatory approval, the two airlines plan to expand the scope of the agreement in the future to include more destinations on their respective networks and implement reciprocity through the respective frequent flyer programmes.

Air Seychelles is due to receive another Airbus A330-200, which was outfitted at the Etihad maintenance base in Abu Dhabi, in a matter of weeks and will from early March onwards then commence services from Mahe to Hong Kong, via Abu Dhabi, initially three times a week. Visit www.airseychelles.com for more information about the airline.

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