British Airways announces return to the Seychelles

MARCH 24TH SET FOR INAUGURAL BRITISH AIRWAYS FLIGHT FROM HEATHROW TO SEYCHELLES

(Posted 19th September 2017)

British Airways has announced that it will be resuming scheduled flights to Seychelles as from the 24th of March 2018.

The United Kingdom’s flag carrier will launch direct flights to Seychelles as of March 24, 2018.

British Airways will be resuming flights to Seychelles, after over a decade of not flying to the Indian Ocean island destination. It will, for now, operate non-stop twice-weekly flights from the London Heathrow airport to Seychelles from March to October, offering more choice to sun-seeking holidaymakers.

The flights will depart Heathrow’s Terminal 5 on Wednesdays and Saturdays and will be operated by the airline’s newest fleet aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The return flights to Heathrow will be on Thursdays and Sundays.

The British carrier says the route timetable is perfectly positioned for honeymooners and holidaymakers keen on extending their break in the Seychelles.

The Seychelles is one of the most beautiful places on earth and we’re delighted to be adding this collection of islands to our extensive route network‘ said British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, Sean Doyle before adding ‘Customers can now get into ‘holiday mode’ even earlier with British Airways’ direct flights from London taking 10 hours, instead of over 13 hours with a connection in the Middle East. As one of the leading luxury holiday destinations, the Seychelles offers customers a wide range of accommodation and activities in stunning natural surroundings‘.

British Airways will become the only airline offering non-stop service between Seychelles and the UK, which is an important market for the Seychelles. Visitor arrivals from the UK & Ireland, which is currently the Seychelles’ fifth largest market, stands at 15,427 to-date for 2017, representing a 22 percent increase over last year.

The Seychelles authorities including the Seychelles High Commissioner in the UK, Derick Ally, and the Seychelles Tourism Board through its Chief Executive Sherin Francis and the STB UK office as well as the Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine Ministry through Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, have been instrumental in securing British Airways’ engagement to resume flights to Seychelles.

Welcoming Tuesday’s announcement, Minister Loustau-Lalanne said this is the best news for the Seychelles’ tourism industry both for its short term and long term viability: ‘We were all devastated when British Airways pulled out in 2004. The return of British Airways to the Seychelles with two non-stop flights from London Heathrow in 2018 will provide a boost, especially to our 5 Star establishments. It will also help to further develop our USA market and elsewhere‘.

For her part Mrs. Francis, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board said: ‘We were all delighted to learn a few months ago that Seychelles was finally on the planning chart of British Airways amongst a handful of other destinations that were being considered. Seychelles has in the past years at every given opportunity expressed its interest to see British Airways serving the destination again and the invitation were even extended from the highest office in Seychelles. We are happy that this long awaited day has arrived. The UK is a very important market for Seychelles and the team at British Airways can count on our support for this route‘.

British Airways has launched over 30 new routes across the globe this year and flights to its new Indian Ocean route, Seychelles, as of March 2018 are already available for booking.

The airline will be offering a 4-class cabin product on the Seychelles route with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner having a 216 seat capacity, which signifies over 400 additional seats weekly, for visitors travelling to the Seychelles islands.

Return fares start from £699 in World Traveller, £999 in World Traveller Plus, £2499 in Club World and from £3499 for First, and are available to book now on ba.com‘ British Airways said in a press statement issued on Tuesday.

Sector

Day of week

Departure time

Arrival time

LHR to SEZ

Wednesday and Saturday

17:50

07:00

SEZ to LHR

Thursday and Sunday

09:00

16:20

Meanwhile has the Seychelles delegation to the just ended 22nd General Assembly of UNWTO in Chengdu / China used their presence to further strengthen ties with Chinese tourism organizations.

The Seychelles Minister for Tourism Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne gave a press conference and several media interviews in Chengdu last week.

This followed the signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China National Tourism Administration to enhance tourism cooperation between Seychelles and China, on the sidelines of the 22nd General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Minister Loustau-Lalanne was interviewed by both regional and national trade media, including Chengdu Economic Daily, Sichuan Daily, NewsSSC.org and Travel Link Daily (TLD) with a nationwide distribution covering 65,000 tourism trade partners. TLD provides the latest trends in China’s tourism industry, particularly in the outbound tourism industry, providing coverage of the latest news on different destinations, airlines, and the hotel business.

Seychelles is a small country compared to China, but we are using our Seychelles’ way to interpret and implement tourism under the One Belt One Road initiative. By leveraging the One Belt One Road initiative to benefit the Seychelles tourism industry, we are targeting 30,000 Chinese tourists by 2020‘ said Minister Loustau-Lalanne during his media interviews.

China is considered to be an important emerging market for Seychelles, with the 2017 strategy placing emphasis on the more travel savvy visitors, with a particular focus on the first tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Chengdu.

Air links play a pivotal role in the development of the tourism industry. Chengdu which has acquired ‘first tier’ status as an outbound departure city in China after Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, has consolidated its position as the gateway to western China serving its population of 14.4 million people and the Sichuan province’s population of 87.3 million. Furthermore, Chengdu has become the third city after Shanghai and Beijing to have two international airports.

The Minister’s interview has in fact followed on from recent summer chartered flights operated by Air Seychelles between Chengdu and Seychelles and builds on keeping the destination visible within the market, as the Chinese long National Day holidays approach.

China became our 6th source market in 2016. We see huge potential, as it is the largest outbound tourism source market in the world. With the benefit from China’s One Belt One Road initiative, the tourism industry of those countries along the One Belt One Road area, including Seychelles, will be significantly boosted‘ Minister Loustau-Lalanne added in his interviews.

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