CONNECTIVITY TO SEYCHELLES IMPACTED BY FLIGHT SUSPENSION OF KENYA AIRWAYS AND EMIRATES DROPPING ONE FREQUENCY
(Posted 13th January 2021)
Information from the Seychelles suggests that flight connectivity has been reduced after Kenya Airways, which only recently resumed twice a week services between Nairobi and Mahe, has suspended the route at least until the end of January. Emirates reportedly reduced their flights from five a week to four a week, suspending their Sunday departure. Previously had British Airways announced the suspension of flights to Mahe as has Air Austral from Reunion.
The reduction, according to information received from Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, is in part attributed to the sudden and almost inexplicable rise in COVID19 cases and perhaps as a result the drop in demand to a destination, which for long has been considered as one of the safest in the world.
The same source also suggested that the newly elected government appears overwhelmed and caught almost unaware by the sudden significant increase in cases and the subsequent spread from Mahe, where the disease was first recorded last year, spread to the the islands of Praslin and La Digue.
Said a regular contact of ATCNews on the islands:
‘The present government was too lax to control and prevent the spread of the disease, complacent perhaps because of the initial success under the last government. The impact of the spread is already visible as airlines are reducing flights, handing our tourism industry another beating. We are short of foreign exchange, all businesses which benefit across the board from tourism are suffering and now even the tourism board has to reduce office presence in important overseas markets. The UK office is closing, the Italy office is closing, the offices in Beijing and Hong Kong are closing, the Paris office has to shut down and move to the Embassy reducing visibility for the destination and even the South Africa office is closing.
We are facing very challenging times and a novice government has to show greater engagement, greater industry support and needs much better fortunes to survive the double blow of pandemic and business downturn‘.