AIR SEYCHELLES MAKES MAIDEN LANDING IN HONG KONG
Air Seychelles made history yesterday when their Airbus A330-200 ‘Aldabra’ arrived in Hong Kong, after a 13 hour flight from Mahe via Abu Dhabi. The flight is code-shared with partner airline Etihad for which it is also the first time to operate a commercial flight to Hong Kong, initially with three flights a week.
Mahe’s international airport was a beehive of activity as the check-in commenced for this inaugural flight, boarding invited guests from government, the tourism industry and invited media representatives who were coming along for the ride to tell the story of Air Seychelles newfound success, besides many other passengers from the islands wanting to be part of the historic flight, taking advantage of very attractive launch fares.
Airline CEO Cramer Ball was quoted to have said before departing: ‘This is an exciting day. As an airline CEO, opening up a new route is something that you aspire to. Seventy ambassadors from Seychelles are going to Hong Kong to wave the flag, to sell this amazing destination that is Seychelles. I’m extremely proud to say that our Hong Kong route will be a success and we look forward to welcoming all visitors from Hong Kong and the surrounding areas’
The new route is expected to further open up the Chinese holiday market which has recorded double digit growth figures in the Seychelles over the past years, making China one of the fastest growing markets for the archipelago. The Seychelles Tourism Board has over the past months relentlessly worked the Hong Kong, and nearby Chinese mainland market and together with private sector partners created special packages available for those flying on Air Seychelles to the archipelago.
Air Seychelles now operates two Airbus A330-200 besides using an Airbus A320 wetleased from Etihad. Only two weeks ago did the airline announce a financial turnaround since partner Etihad came on board in early 2012, achieving a million US Dollar profit for the first full financial year since the Abu Dhabi’s national airline acquired a 40 percent stake and injected a 20 million US Dollars working capital.
Happy Landings to crews and passengers, whenever they take off for Hong Kong.