Air Seychelles gets Skytrax’s 4 star rating


(Posted 04th January 2014)

In one of aviation history’s most remarkable recent turnarounds has Air Seychelles just been anointed by Skytrax with the coveted 4 Star rating, after working relentlessly for over a year in upgrading and improving service levels, in the air and on the ground.

Three years ago, Air Seychelles struggled to survive and course was set for a doubtful future, if any considering the financial losses HM incurred at the time, before the strategic partnership with Etihad, the national airline of Abu Dhabi, brought about fundamental change.

Since then has Air Seychelles undergone an astonishing transformation, accomplished a complete long haul fleet exchange, now using modern Airbus A330 aircraft after returning 5 aged B767’s to the lessors, has created a second hub in Abu Dhabi which now serves as stop over point for long haul flights to Hong Kong and soon to be Paris again, and has placed orders for an Airbus A320 and three Twin Otter DHC 6-400 for their domestic services to Praslin and other islands.

The airline’s premium lounge got a facelift, a new VIP Terminal was launched in October last year where the airline’s ground handling arm now processed passengers of private jets and, most important, has the airline indicated that for the second year running they will be making a profit again.

The result of all these improvements was an upped ranking from 3 to 4 Star by Skytrax, the world’s leading independent airline rating company, which at the same time confirmed that Air Seychelles is now Africa’s second highest ranked airline, up 8 places from 2012/13. Globally has Air Seychelles been named as the fourth most improved airline when it jumped from place 133 to place 56, outpacing many larger and perhaps better known airlines.

CEO Cramer Ball was naturally beaming when he made the announcement in the presence of the airline’s chairman of the board, who is also the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan, and the Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St. Ange, with a giant cake waiting to be cut after the official speeches were delivered. Said Cramer: ‘We are absolutely delighted to receive this recognition. We have been working very hard to enhance our product and service offering. Our new ranking places us among the very best airlines in the world and confirms the significant progress we have made during the last two years. The award is also indicative of the enormous commitment and effort by our staff, who with our equity partner, Etihad Airways, have worked to reshape our offering while retaining the very unique Creole warmth and hospitality for which we are renowned’.

Airline chairman Joel Morgan added:’ I am immensely proud of this achievement and what it represents for our national carrier. The turnaround program we put in place two years ago is clearly bearing fruit in many areas.Financially we met our target, achieving profitability in 2012, and we’re on track to build on that success as 2013 draws to a close. This has been a remarkable 35th anniversary for Air Seychelles: we welcomed our second Airbus A330-200, launched flights to Hong Kong and expanded our international schedule, and signed four new codeshare partnerships. We renewed our domestic fleet with the purchase of three new DHC6-400 twin otter aircraft and entered the luxury private air market with the launch of Air Seychelles VIP, Seychelles first Fixed Base Operation’.

Skytrax also offered their comments, made by CEO Edward Plaisted, who was quoted in media release received yesterday: ‘Air Seychelles has introduced new aircraft offering extensive product improvements, and this combined with a strong service quality ethos from their front-line staff has resulted in Air Seychelles now meeting a 4-Star Airline rating. We congratulate Air Seychelles on this fantastic achievement, which is particularly important when one considers that the 4-Star Airline classification includes some of the world’s largest and best known airlines’.

(Air Seychelles CEO Cramer Ball making the official announcement yesterday at the international airport on Mahe)

(Air Seychelles’ CEO Cramer Ball, management and staff with Ministers Morgan and St. Ange in celebratory mood)