Air Mauritius to begin twice-weekly flights to Seychelles in July
Air Mauritius A330 at the Hong Kong international airport. (Wikipedia) CC BY-SA 2.0
(Seychelles News Agency) - Air Mauritius will resume operations to Seychelles from July 2, the airline announced on Wednesday.
The flag carrier of Mauritius will operate twice-weekly flights by an Airbus A319 offering 16 business class and 108 economy class seats.
The airline’s chief executive, Somas Appavou, said that “this new destination will reinforce our regional service and provide enhanced connectivity onto our global network.”
Appavou said that Mauritius and Seychelles are world-class tourist destinations and as islands “share similar challenges like the size of our home markets and our geographical remoteness. Bringing our islands closer through better air connectivity is key to overcoming such challenges.”
The Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority had announced in April that Air Mauritius had expressed its intent to resume connecting flights to Seychelles in July.
Air Mauritius, which previously flew to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, decided more than 15 years ago to stop for economic reasons.
The Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Didier Dogley, had said in an interview in April the confirmation of operations of Air Mauritius to Seychelles will not be good news for Air Seychelles.
“If Air Mauritius starts flying to Seychelles this will impact greatly on the revenue Air Seychelles will collect in the future on that route, if they operate here three times weekly then it will take away the income that Air Seychelles would have received for these flights,” he said.
Dogley had nevertheless pointed out that Seychelles has signed a bilateral air services agreement with Mauritius which means that “if Air Seychelles is flying to Mauritius then they can also fly to Seychelles as well.”
In his state of the nation address in February, the Seychelles’ President, Danny Faure talked about the competitive environment that the national carrier Air Seychelles is currently facing and the need for the government to provide support.
He said that the government “has decided to subsidise Air Seychelles $6 million per year for the next five years starting next year.”
The flight schedules for the Mauritius-Seychelles service have been designed to optimise connecting possibilities for passengers through the Mauritius hub. This includes the flux of business and leisure traffic to and from Madagascar, Reunion, South Africa and Australia.