Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Airline Updates: Air Seychelles

Air Seychelles to Launch Non-Stop Direct Flights Between Seychelles and Paris

Air Seychelles has announced that it will provide non-stop, direct flights between  main island of Mahé and the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. The flights, offered three times a week, will begin as of July 2015. This is according to a statement released by  Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan.

“This is an important step for Seychelles and is made possible by the strengthened co-operation with France, following the important meeting between President James Michel and President Francois Hollande in Paris last year, as well as his meeting with senior officials from Air France and the ongoing commitment and support of the shareholders,” said Minsiter Morgan.

Following a drop last year where it was replaced by Germany as the Seychelles main tourism market, France is back in the leading seat in tourism arrivals at the beginning of 2015, following Air Seychelles' relaunch of flights to Paris last year, albeit via Abu Dhabi.

However, the lack of a direct, non-stop flight has been the main complaint of French tourists, and industry stakeholders have cited this as one of the biggest hurdles in marketing Seychelles to travelers from France.

According to Mason's Travel's Groups Branding and Communications Manager, Nicole St. Ange, “Direct flights to Seychelles from Paris are crucial to the tourism industry in Seychelles and this is what we and the trade have been requesting since Air Seychelles ceased flying directly to our source markets. The French market is certainly one of the strongest markets and Paris is a major hub for European travellers and we welcome this very positive news."

"The direct flights will certainly be more attractive for travellers," she continued, "especially families, to reach Seychelles. Avoiding late night stop-overs and increasing the room nights spent in the destination are just a couple of the additional benefits."

"The success and viability of the operation however is not dependent on the Seychelles trade partners alone, much will also depend on the pricing and the long term commitment of the airline,” she added. 

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