Air Seychelles resumes India operations
Sudipta Dev – Mumbai
Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, resumed its operations in India with the introduction of Mahe-Mumbai route in December 2014. The thrice weekly flights is the only direct connectivity between the two countries. The airline is also positioning Mahe as a transit point for onward flights to Madagascar and Dar es Salaam in east Africa.
The airline that now has a strategic equity partnership with Etihad, had discontinued its flights to India in the past due to economic constraints. “We have reinvented ourselves, have had success in the last few years and have shown profitability and growth. We have worked on the model of code share partnerships and now have the fastest growing expansion in Air Seychelles’ history,” said Manoj Papa, CEO, Air Seychelles. He pointed out that while many things have changed for the airline, what has not changed is its Creole warmth.
Mumbai is an important market for Air Seychelles, acknowledged Papa. The return flight to Mumbai is an overnight one, which gives an extra day to Indian travellers in Seychelles.
Growth in tourism from India and business travel are the factors that the airline is strongly banking on for this market. Sherin Naiken, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board said, “This new air connectivity points to the increasing number of movement between Seychelles and India. Our country is the best place to experience the sun, sea and sand. We are a rainbow nation and have had long historic ties with India.”