(Mr. Terence Mondon, Principal Secretary Ministry of Home Affairs and Transport and H.E. Mohammed Hareb Al Yousef from Abu Dhabi Department of Transport exchange documents after signing the new deal)
Informationhas just been received that the Seychelles Minister responsible for transport, Joel Morgan, has presided over the signing of an added extra-bilateral agreement (BASA) between the Seychelles and Abu Dhabi. It amends the 1992 agreement in force until now and permits both Etihad, Air Seychelles partner airline and the Seychelles national carrier up to 14 frequencies per week plus 7 added cargo flights on any type of equipment without restrictions.
Notably was onward traffic, the famous fifth freedom agreements many carriers are seeking, included in the newly signed document, permitting both Etihad and Air Seychelles to fly to such African mainland destinations like Dar Es Salaam, Kilimanjaro the latter undoubtedly interesting for joint safari and beach packages, but also to the Comoros, Madagascar, Nairobi or as far as Australia. Minister Joel Morgan was quoted to have said upon putting pen to paper: We are happy that the agreement was completed successfully, as it is part and parcel of our continuous efforts to encourage air services development in Seychelles. This move also shows our support to the development of strong air link between Seychelles and Abu Dhabi.
Much of the Seychelles success to bringing ever larger numbers of tourists to the archipelago is by broad agreement within the tourism private sector attributed to the opening up of the countrys air space, which while propelling Air Seychelles into a major restructuring has resulted since the change in policy a few years ago in as many as 28 weekly flights between the Gulf and Mahe. Everyone was very concerned when Air Seychelles management at the time announced they were pulling out of Europe. At least now we have resumed code shared flights with Etihad and can even serve more destinations than before, when we had 6 flights to Paris but not beyond in France for instance. I think this new agreement will help to expand code shared flights and put the HM flight number on joint services and it will benefit us with more visitors. By end April we had a very encouraging upwards trend and we are reasonably confident that Seychelles this year will get over 200.000 visitors, the first time ever a regular source from Mahe contributed when discussing the developments a few minutes ago.
Watch this space for breaking news like these from the Indian Ocean islands and the Eastern African mainland.