Air Seychelles launches cargo flights from Mahe to Praslin


(Posted 03rd April 2014)

Air Seychelles earlier today announced the launch of a dedicated cargo flight between the archipelago’s international airport on the main island of Mahe and Praslin, the second largest island among the 115 which make up the Seychelles.

The airline will for the time being operate the cargo flight once a week, timed to coincide with the arrival of the Air Seychelles flight from Abu Dhabi to ensure almost immediate onward shipment by air of imports needed by the hotels and resorts on Praslin.

Previously were such shipments taken to the port and sent by either ferry or another ship, which was not only time consuming but also impacted on items which required constant refrigeration.

It was learned that while customs clearance will continue to be affected at the main airport, at the aerodrome in Praslin hotel and resort trucks and pickups will then be able to access the airside to facilitate immediate loading and onward deliver to the final destination.

The aircraft used, a Short 360, which has previously served in the inter-island aircraft fleet as a passenger plane, has been retrofitted and is now capable of carrying up to 3.5 metric tons of cargo or over 1.300 cubic feet.

Mr. Manoj Papa, the new CEO of Air Seychelles, had the following comments to make when breaking the news:

This is a step-change for our domestic business, a reinforcement of how we are aligning our network, fleet, and service portfolio, domestic and international, to support the local tourism industry and encourage more trans-shipment cargo into the Seychelles. We witnessed record growth in cargo in 2013 as well as strong growth in our domestic operations. This service will enhance our domestic business, strengthening cargo services for our customers’.

The new all-cargo service follows the recent launch of a cargo chiller and freezer facility at the newly refurbished cargo terminal at Seychelles International Airport. Customers can find further details by visiting the cargo section of the Air Seychelles website or by e-mailing CargoCS. Air Seychelles domestic cargo flight schedule has been given as follows:

Flight # Departs Departure Time Arrives Arrival Time Aircraft Day of Week
HM 330 SEZ 09:00 PRI 09:25 S360 Monday
HM 3301 PRI 09:40 SEZ 10:05 S360 Monday

In terms of fleet development is Air Seychelles expecting to replace three ageing Twin Otters with state of the art versions of the same aircraft type, latest by next year when Viking is able to deliver the new planes, a third Airbus A330 is under consideration and an Airbus A320 will join the fleet later this year for deployment on routes to Mauritius and other potential new destinations on the African mainland or across the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands.

Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news.

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