Seychelles' airport to remain open during period of nearly no international flights
Other than attending to flights carrying passengers, the international airport at Pointe Larue offers other essential services which include cargo operations. (Michel Toule)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles' international airport will remain operational during the next several weeks during which almost no regularly scheduled international flights are expected into or out of the island nation, said a top official.
The chief executive of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA), Gary Albert, told a press conference on Friday that "as of next week all flights coming to and out of the island nation will be solely for the purpose of passenger repatriation."
Albert said that other than attending to flights carrying passengers, the international airport at Pointe Larue offers other essential services which include medical evacuations, cargo operations, emergency landings, and humanitarian and technical landings.
The CEO said, "From next week flight frequency will go down to almost zero. Out of the 14 airlines, only Ethiopian Airline has a scheduled flight next week."
"On a normal day, we get 80 international arrivals per week. This week we are having only 15 arrivals," he added.
He said that the airport will also attend to domestic flights which have reduced from 40 to two per day.
Although some airline stated they will resume flights in April, that will depend on the directives of the Department of Health as to when Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, will reopen its border.
In the latest travel advisory from the Department of Health on Wednesday, no passengers from any country (except returning Seychellois citizens) will be allowed to enter Seychelles.
In the event that a person who has been to any country (except returning Seychellois citizens) arrives in Seychelles, the person will not be allowed entry and the carrier airline or vessel will be responsible for the immediate return of the passenger.
All airlines with inbound flights for Seychelles are directed not to board any passengers or crew (except returning Seychellois citizens) from any country.
Albert said that the situation is having a direct impact on SCAA as the authority's revenues are from passengers and flights that go through and out the Seychelles international airport.
According to SCAA in 2019 there were 921,704 passengers that went through the island nation's airport.
Seychelles has seven patients who tested positive for COVID-19 – three Seychellois and four foreigners and who are all in the isolation treatment centre as the Family Hospital at Perseverance.