‘WE WELCOME AIR FRANCE BUT THEY SHOULD NOT MESS WITH AIR SEYCHELLES FLIGHTS FROM PARIS‘
(Posted 31st October 2017)
While visiting the paradise islands of the Seychelles have a surprisingly large number of readers shared their concern with this correspondent about the apparent decision of the Seychelles government, to let two of the three proposed flights by Air France’s low cost long haul subsidiary JOON fly between Paris and Mahe on the same traffic days as Air Seychelles operates.
While in the past Air France and the Seychelles national carrier cooperated through a code share arrangement will the new situation create a head on fight for passengers, something literally every comment denounced, some in strong terms.
‘Of course we want more flights, let this be clear from the beginning. Of course we want more visitors from France because their tourist arrivals have this year fallen behind Germany. Of course are we happy that there will be six flights a week between France and Seychelles when Joon starts flights in early May next year. But what we are saying, why permit them to fly on the same days like our own airline which has pioneered the route and invested a lot of money to promote their flights.
Joon should have been told yes, you can come here, yes you are welcome to fly to Mahe but you need to respect the existing traffic days of our own national airline Air Seychelles. You know when they fly so you choose any of the remaining other traffic days so that France and Seychelles are connected with nonstop flights six times a week on different days and not have twice a week two flights on the same day. This is just not right, in fact it is a crazy move‘ did one regular contributor let fly earlier today.
Another said: ‘I do not mince words. These guys are out to destroy our own national airline with such tactics. That is not a welcome move for them to want to lay in a made bed. Our government should revisit their decision, let them fly but on days we have no flights yet between France and Mahe. They still have half a year to make the changes and if they are so keen as they say, they will comply with it‘.
Given that hotels on Mahe were absolutely packed during the just ended Festival Kreol have others also raised the question where the additional visitors will stay.
Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne earlier this month gave resort developers sitting on their permits a year to start building or else risk their permits and licences to be withdrawn and reallocated, but to complete a new resort from planning stage to cutting the tape at the front door can easily take two years and in some cases even longer.
‘I own a small establishment not far from the beach with rooms and apartments. I hope that those extra passengers will consider staying in such small locally owned places because we need more clients. If the airline is low cost for the ticket I and others who invested in self catering chalets and rooms can only hope that these visitors also look for more affordable accommodation when they come to Seychelles‘ said another over the weekend when discussing their accommodation segment.
As always will only time tell how this pans out but having some understanding of aviation can it here only be affirmed that Joon / Air France should go back to the drawing board and change their traffic days.