AIR SEYCHELLES INKS DEAL WITH CATHAY PACIFI
(Posted 21st November 2013)
Air Seychelles has just announced an additional major code share agreement with Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific, one of South and East Asia’s leading airlines. Subject to regulatory approvals, which are expected to be granted without much delay, will Air Seychelles gain access to Australia with Cathay flights from Hong Kong five times a week to Perth and six times a week to Melbourne, while the South Korean capital of Seoul too will be part of the new deal. Johannesburg, which both airlines serve, has also been included in the code share arrangement, giving travellers in both directions added choices of routing and visiting other countries along the way.
In turn will Cathay put their flight numbers on services of Air Seychelles to Abu Dhabi and on to the Seychelles. Additional services, for instance from Mahe to Praslin or from Mahe to Mauritius, may well be on the drawing board as are more Cathay Pacific destinations across the Far and South East of Asia.
Air Seychelles Chief Executive Officer, Cramer Ball, said the new codeshare partnership with Cathay Pacific Airways would enable Air Seychelles to tap into Asia’s rapidly growing travel market, which in recent years has become an important source of tourism growth for the Seychelles: ‘We are delighted to enter this deal with one of the world’s leading airlines. Our partnership with Cathay Pacific will go a long way to support the growing demand for flights between the Seychelles and China, as well as Asia generally. Both airlines are now poised to benefit from that demand. Cathay Pacific’s celebrated inflight service, combined with our unique and world famous Creole warmth, makes for a powerful proposition, one that we are confident will appeal to the travelling public. This deal is a win-win for both airlines, and we look forward to strengthening our affiliation with our new friends at Cathay Pacific in the future’.
Demand for travel between Seychelles and Asia has grown at a rapid pace in the last two years, with Chinese tourism figures alone up 273 per cent since 2011, and up 91 per cent in the rest of the Far East largely as a result of concerted efforts by the Seychelles Tourism Board to open up the Chinese market and support their marketing campaigns with the placement of a tourism attaché` at the Seychelles Consulate in Shanghai, in Hong Kong and at the main embassy offices in Bejing. It was only in March this year that Air Seychelles launched their flights to Hong Kong, via Abu Dhabi, offering 1,524 seats per week between Hong Kong and Seychelles.
John Slosar, Cathay Pacific Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said on the occasion of the signing ceremony: ‘We are pleased to be able to offer our passengers yet another new destination through this important codeshare agreement. This new partnership with Air Seychelles will boost both business and leisure travel between Hong Kong and the Seychelles and provide passengers travelling from the Seychelles with more choice and flexibility when travelling through our superb Hong Kong hub to connect to the network of Cathay Pacific. We look forward to welcoming guests from Air Seychelles onto our flights soon’.
Air Seychelles has also, ahead of the formal signing of the code share agreement, implemented an interline e-ticketing functionality with Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Dragonair to provide additional seamless booking and ticketing opportunities for each other’s passengers.
In this regard did Cramer Ball add: ‘Our interline collaboration with Cathay Pacific Airways offers our guests, on a single combined ticket, additional connections and flexible travel options to cities such as Manila, Osaka, Tokyo, Hanoi, and Taipei, providing more opportunities for global travellers to experience the beauty and culture of the Seychelles, and our residents to visit the world’.
Joel Morgan, Seychelles Minister for Home Affairs and Transport and Chairman of Air Seychelles added his own voice when commenting on the signing of yet another code share deal, allowing Air Seychelles to effectively roll out their flight numbers further into the Far East and to Australia: ‘This impressive partnership with Cathay Pacific, Air Seychelles’ first in Asia, is another significant milestone for our national airline. Guests of Cathay Pacific Airways now have a new exquisite holiday choice in the Seychelles, which they can experience alone, or in combination with other stops in Johannesburg, Abu Dhabi or Hong Kong. The deal is a great example of our airline’s pledge to make Seychelles more accessible to emerging markets and of our strategy to create alliances which enhance our network and marketing reach in a measured way. Cathay Pacific’s extensive route network also offers further expansion opportunities into Asia and beyond, subject to regulatory approvals. Thanks to these partnerships, our brand has been placed directly in front of millions of new customers, and the partnerships have delivered a major source of revenue growth for our company, contributing to our goal of sustainable profitability’.
The codeshare agreement with Cathay Pacific Airways brings to five the number of Air Seychelles codeshare partners, including equity partner, Etihad Airways. Earlier this year, Air Seychelles signed partnerships with airberlin, Czech Airlines and South African Airways. Tickets will be on sale from November 21, 2013 for travel from December 9, 2013 and can be purchased online via www.airseychelles.com.