AIR SEYCHELLES ANNOUNCES RESUMPTION OF NONSTOP FLIGHTS TO PARIS
(Posted 16th March 2015)
Come July will Air Seychelles resume nonstop flights between Mahe and Paris CDG with three services per week, using the airline’s two class Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
This will substitute the flights which hitherto routed via Abu Dhabi considerably added to the flying time between France and the Seychelles.
‘This is the best news we had this year. We had several issues which were voiced in the past when Air Seychelles resumed Paris flights and flew via Abu Dhabi. First passengers had to disembark the aircraft and go through the added security check on arrival before they were allowed back on the same aircraft to fly on to Paris. This drew a lot of criticism. It took a while before Air Seychelles was able to keep the transit passengers on board in Abu Dhabi for the final leg home to France. Now this will all be a thing of the past. If I got it right Air France will support the flight like they did before when the two airlines codeshared. I am sure details will follow very soon. But it shows that sustained pressure and the market reaction were sufficient to have the airline take a good hard look at the route and accept the inevitable’ said a regular Victoria based source in a series of text messages when passing the information earlier in the afternoon. The source then added: ‘This is a move we can full heartedly support and of course will we lobby our French trade partners to use Air Seychelles as the fastest way to reach Mahe. Other French destinations still are on codeshare with Etihad and those passengers connect via Abu Dhabi so the range of French departure airports does not change’.
Seychelles’ Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan, also welcomed the change when he said: ‘This is an important step for Seychelles and is made possible by the strengthened co-operation with France, following the important meeting between President James Michel and President Francois Hollande in Paris last year, as well as his meeting with senior officials from Air France and the ongoing commitment and support of the shareholders. Making the opportunity to have sustainable non-stop flights to Paris CDG even greater is the fact Seychelles is registering double-digit growth in tourism arrivals from France, our number one market, since the beginning of this year. While Air Seychelles will provide the air connection, at the end of the day it is the trade, tourism marketing and promoters who need to make things happen in support of this initiative. This is the exciting challenge we all need to rise up to meet, let us work hard together as a team to make it a resounding success for Seychelles’.
Air Seychelles resumed flights to Paris in July last year and the change is thought possible by the airline making profits for the third year running since Etihad came on board as a shareholder. For the last financial year did Air Seychelles report an increased profit of 3.2 million US Dollars.
Arrivals from France had declined to a point that Germany had overtaken France in terms of tourists visiting the archipelago but since early this year have French visitors again topped the charts, as the market recorded double digit growth figures. The announcement follows hot on the heels of the just concluded ITB2015 in Berlin where, or so it is understood, French tour operators and travel agents lobbied for a resumption of nonstop services, and successfully as can now be seen.
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