INDIA’S JET AIRWAYS SIGNS CODESHARE DEALS WITH AIR SEYCHELLES
(Posted 06th May 2015)
When Air Seychelles launched their three times a week service from Mahe to Mumbai in early December was speculation immediately rife who closely the two Etihad partners Jet Airways in India and Air Seychelles would work together to open up the Indian tourist market for the archipelago. Jet Airways CEO Cramer Bell of course is no stranger to the Seychelles as he took over as CEO when Etihad acquired a 40 percent stake in the airline and the management rights in the process. Credited with the massive turnaround of Air Seychelles in the space of two years he then left on completion of his two year contract only to swiftly re-emerge in India where, after the deal between Etihad and Jet Airways was sealed and approved, he then took charge as CEO.
Air Seychelles, as reported here, recently announced a fourth weekly frequency to Mumbai, to cater for growing demand from such HM destinations like Dar es Salaam and Antananarivo, and the newly inked code share deal between the two airlines now opens up the Jet Airways domestic network for onward connections.
Air Seychelles, under the deal, will be able to reach Jet Airways’ domestic destinations beyond Mumbai to Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Kochi, and Thiruvananthapuram but will reportedly also codeshare the Jet Airways’ flights between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai.
In turn has Jet Airways put a codeshare into place from Mumbai to Mahe on the four per week flights operated by Air Seychelles and will also codeshare on Air Seychelles’ flights from Mahe to Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg. It is understood that applications for codeshares to Dar es Salaam and Antananarivo will also be filed to expand Jet Airways’ reach into the Indian Ocean.
Cramer Ball, Jet Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said on the occasion of announcing the deal: ‘We are pleased to sign this codeshare agreement with Air Seychelles, which reflects our growing ambitions in the region. The agreement makes Seychelles more accessible to our guests, and opens up other key destinations and multiple travel options that we constantly endeavour to offer our guests. The Seychelles archipelago, with its 115 scenic islands, has great appeal to business and leisure travellers and we are committed to working with Air Seychelles and the Seychelles tourism industry to continue developing air connectivity’.
Manoj Papa, Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer responded when he said: ‘Mumbai has, in a short space of time, proven to be very popular with our guests. This agreement with Jet Airways will enhance our travel proposition by offering Air Seychelles’ guests simple and convenient travel options within India. Thanks to our growing commercial ties with Jet Airways, we will be able to build our presence in India and provide Air Seychelles access to millions of potential Indian guests wishing to travel to the Seychelles, or beyond to Africa. Closer cooperation with cargo will further enable trade in the region and is in line with our business strategy’.
The chairman of Air Seychelles, Mr. Joel Morgan, who is also the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport in the Seychelles, then added his own views on the newly signed deal when he said: ‘We are pleased to sign this codeshare agreement, which I am confident will strengthen the close ties between our two countries. As the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi clearly demonstrated, Seychelles and India enjoy excellent and long-standing bilateral relations, and enhancing air connectivity is essential to developing them further’.
The Seychelles’ tourism private sector, through the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association, expressed their support for the deal and expressed their hope that more visitors from India can now find their way to the islands with Jet Airways and Air Seychelles’ being able to provide a one stop solution via Mumbai. Already do visitor statistics show an increase of travellers from India and now that a fourth flight has been announced between Mahe and Mumbai and the codeshare deal opens many more Indian regional source markets is this trend no doubt going to strengthen. For more destination information about the Seychelles click on www.seychelles.travel