Air Seychelles turnaround takes root


(Posted 05th September 2013)

When Air Seychelles a few months ago announced a profit of 1 million US Dollars, heads turned and people sat up to take notice just how miraculous a turnaround has been achieved by the company since Etihad, the national airline of Abu Dhabi came on board as a 40 percent shareholder.

A complete fleet overhaul, disposing of 5 ageing B767 aircraft and introducing two state of the art Airbus A330’s, a major cost rationalization programme, where the synergy effects of the cooperation with Etihad were made fully to bear, together with a drastic cut in routes to concentrate on the core business, paid off handsomely.

Aircraft maintenance and crew training were largely moved to the Etihad facilities in Abu Dhabi, providing state of the art services as well as cost savings, and concentrating on flights to Abu Dhabi in codeshare with Etihad opened a range of destinations previously unattainable by the ‘old’ Air Seychelles, using partners like Air Berlin and Czech Airlines, both also members of the Etihad ‘stable’. Some 23 destinations are now served through codeshares including such faraway places Melbourne and Sidney

Air Seychelles now reaches more destinations and more markets today than it did before when the airline operated their own flights to London, Paris, Milan and Singapore on the long haul routes. Those destinations are now served, and in fact many many more, by Etihad and Air Berlin, all feeding into our nonstop flights between Mahe and Abu Dhabi. In fact Air Seychelles operates presently 3 flights a week to Hong Kong via Abu Dhabi in which Etihad codeshares. Flights to Johannesburg were increased and because of the cooperation with SAA the wider regional and the domestic market in South Africa have opened up. Today Air Seychelles is leaner, is more cost effective. Instead of going out of business the airline has secured a future and once more is a corner stone in Brand Seychelles’ said a regular source while the airline itself made more information available yesterday on its achievements over the past few months.

A media release from Air Seychelles gave this overview:


· On track for second year of profitability

· Introduction of second Airbus A330-200

· Launch of services to Hong Kong

· Significant expansion of other international services

· 146, 980 passengers on domestic and international networks

· New codeshare partnerships with airberlin, South African Airways, Czech Airlines

· Expansion of codeshare agreement with equity partner Etihad Airways

· Significant advancement in Skytrax rankings

Air Seychelles CEO Cramer Ball commented on the airline’s achievements: ‘We achieved triple digit growth in the second quarter of 2013 — a tremendous result and further evidence of the success of our strategy. At the beginning of the year, we committed to the further development of our network through organic growth and partnerships and we have delivered on that promise. Today, thanks to our new codeshare partnerships and the expansion of our codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways, Air Seychelles now proudly flies to four continents. We are realizing significant returns on these relationships, with a 34 per cent contribution to our total revenue in the second quarter. We are creating a solid foundation for the future of our airline, Seychelles tourism and our home economy, and we are on track for a second year of profitability. This has been a transformative year for Air Seychelles. Our recent Skytrax ranking is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team. The new rankings have served as a catalyst to progress further in our mission to be the best airline in the Indian Ocean. We are aiming higher now – for a four-star Skytrax rating – which will put Air Seychelles on the same level as some of the world’s most renowned airlines’.

The Chairman of Air Seychelles, who is also the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan added his own voice when saying: ‘The half-year performance of our national airline has exceeded expectations. As a result of its equity partnership with Etihad Airways and the codeshare agreements with other airlines, Air Seychelles has increased its global presence, resulting in record growth for Seychelles tourism. Tourist arrivals on Air Seychelles have more than doubled, increasing by 131 per cent from a year ago, and the excellent feedback we have received from our guests’ experiences confirms that we are on track to achieving the goal of becoming the best airline in the region. Since December last year, we have modernised and signed 15 Air Service Agreements, including Hong Kong, Australia, the Czech Republic, Kuwait, South Africa, and just last week, Vietnam. Dozens more agreements are in the pipeline and these will provide greater air access and codeshare opportunities for Air Seychelles going forward, fulfilling our Ministry’s mission to continually improve air access to Seychelles’.

Air Seychelles was established in 1978 and began long-haul service in 1983. The airline currently offers international flights to Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Johannesburg and Mauritius. Air Seychelles also offers more than 200 domestic scheduled flights a week throughout the archipelago, as well as domestic charter services. As the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, Air Seychelles is a pillar of tourism, the island nation’s strongest and growing economic sector. For more information visit

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