AIR SEYCHELLES SEES SOUTH AFRICA AS KEY MARKET PLACE
(Posted 02nd December 2016)
Air Seychelles yesterday held a media conference at King Shaka International Airport to announce its new direct route to Durban, set to commence on 30th of March 2017.
The airline was represented by Ms. Maja Gedosev, General Manager Sales, Distribution and Corporate Affairs at Air Seychelles, who was joined by David Germain from the Seychelles Tourism Board office in South Africa and Nkosinathi Myataza, Assistant General Manager Operations Services of the Durban International Airport.
The new Durban route will be operated twice a week with an Airbus A320 aircraft in a two class configuration of business and economy. When launched will it become the airline’s second route in South Africa after Johannesburg to where the airline now flies five times per week.
Durban has a population of more than three million people and is a major centre of trade and commerce, with the largest and busiest port in sub-Saharan Africa and Air Seychelles will provide flights for both tourism and trade purposes.
Mr. Sihle Zikalala, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, welcomes the airline to KwaZulu-Natal’s warm shores, said at the media event: ‘With the increased air connectivity from the Seychelles comes further growth of our tourism business, and therefore our economies. The increased direct air connectivity that Air Seychelles opens up to KwaZulu-Natal is certainly exciting, especially given the further linkages they will provide to destinations in India and Europe. With strong ties already established between South Africa and the Seychelles, there is great potential for further tourism and trade growth; while the A320 Airbus aircraft they will be using to service the Durban route brings the potential to increase the cargo capacity being freighted out of Durban. In addition, the onward connectivity that Air Seychelles will provide to India and Germany will enable Durban travellers to seamlessly reach new borders, opening and amplifying new business opportunities for the province of KwaZulu-Natal‘.
The Seychelles Tourism Board has close ties to Kwa Zulu Natal and the two have in the past cooperated on many platforms to promote multi destination travel.
The first flight will take off on 30th of March 2017 and tickets are already on sale with round-trip Economy Class fares starting from R5,000 (USD500) and Business Class fares from R15,000 (USD1,500).
Mr. Roy Kinnear, the Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said: ‘The commencement of non-stop flights to the thriving city of Durban will establish a second air bridge between Seychelles and South Africa, complementing our five-per-week service to Johannesburg. The new service will provide business and leisure travellers who have trade ties to Seychelles or holiday on the islands with more travel choice and convenience. The Durban flight schedule will offer seamless connectivity options to Düsseldorf, Mumbai and onwards to nine codeshare destinations in India via the Seychelles which will appeal to a broad range of travellers. As one of our strongest markets, we are happy to expand our presence in South Africa with new flights to Durban and increased seat capacity to Johannesburg, and are confident these air links will bring our countries closer and contribute to the development of our respective economies and tourism industries‘.
In addition to strengthening air connections to South Africa, Air Seychelles plans, as earlier reported here, a twice a week service to Düsseldorf in March 2017, upgrade its Paris service with an additional fourth weekly frequency and substantially increase capacities on its regional network.
In order to support the fleet requirements of this expansion will the airline take delivery of a second Airbus A330 which will be flown to Europe and used to upgrade selected regional flights currently operated on an A320 aircraft.
A330 aircraft will continue to operate to Johannesburg on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, one Mauritius flight will be upgraded to the A330 on Saturdays, and Mumbai will see the introduction of the A330 on Sundays. All three routes will continue to be operated on a five-a-week basis with the remaining flights operating on Airbus A320 aircraft.
In addition to its own network does Air Seychelles have a codeshare agreement with South African Airways offering guests one-stop connections from Seychelles to Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban through Johannesburg.
The launch of Durban and Düsseldorf will expand Air Seychelles’ international network to nine destinations.
Flight schedule for Durban flights, commencing 30 March 2017:
*All departures and arrivals above are listed in local time.