MIHIN LANKA DUE TO LAUNCH COLOMBO – MAHE FLIGHTS ON 16TH NOVEMBER
(Posted 25th October 2013)
Following a state visit by Sri Lanka’s president to the Seychelles a few months ago did it not take long for the promised airlinks between the two island countries to be announced. While in the Seychelles this week it was reliably learned that Mihin Lanka, a government owned low cost carrier closely aligned to national airline Sri Lankan, will commence flights between Colombo and Mahe on the 16th of November, using an Airbus A320 on the route, configured in a single class cabin. Initially there will be two weekly flights between the islands, operating on Wednesday and Saturday. While initially there was talk of Sri Lankan been keen to operated themselves with the option to fly on to the African mainland – Nairobi / Kenya was mentioned at the time – there were apparently no breakthroughs yet on the thorny issue to 5th freedom rights from Mahe into Kenya, ultimately leading to Mihin Lanka then becoming the designated carrier for the route but flying in codeshare with Sri Lankan. This will permit passengers travelling from Mahe to Colombo to seamlessly connect to a large number of destinations in for instance India or further in to the South and Far East, with tickets to for instance Bombay or the Thai capital Bangkok being way under the fare levels of other airlines. Aviation sources spoken to here in Victoria expressed their satisfaction over the fast tracked permissions and landing rights which has also delighted the tourism fraternity in the Seychelles. A source close to the Seychelles Tourism Board in fact commented that ‘these flights will allow us to tap even more into the Indian and Asian markets. Their fares are very attractive and can bring us a clientele which will support our indigenous hospitality industry. We can match a low cost ticket price with budget hotel accommodation, guest houses, self catering establishments and even holiday apartments, which can bring the cost of a Seychelles holiday down. The details are on the tourism board website under the links of Seychelles Secrets and budget accommodation, most of which can be booked on line. This will then give travellers the comfort to have accommodation secured and when they arrive in Mahe, because they need no Visa, all they have to show is their return ticket and their hotel or guest house booking confirmation. The new flights will help the Seychelles to meet our growth targets and will be especially beneficial for local hospitality owners’.
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