An eye on expanding the North African market: Air Seychelles adds codeshare flight to Egypt
The majestic pyramids of Giza - just one of the sights of Egypt that will be more accessible to visitors from the Seychelles (Flickr/Shellapic76)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Air Seychelles, the national airline of the 115-island Indian Ocean archipelago, is eyeing the growing outbound tourism market in Egypt as a potential for further growth.
The airline announced on Monday that it has added Cairo to its codeshare agreement with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, opening up increased connection possibilities for Egyptian travellers wishing to experience the Seychelles islands.
In a press statement, Air Seychelles said it would place its HM flight code onto a daily Airbus A320 service operated by Etihad to and from the Egyptian capital and the hub of Abu-Dhabi, which offers double-daily flights to the Seychelles.
Etihad Airways, Air Seychelles’ strategic partner, bought a 40 percent equity stake in Air Seychelles, which was previously wholly-owned by the Seychelles government, in 2012.
The recently-appointed Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, Roy Kinnear, described the move as an “exciting development” which would enhance the travel connections between Seychelles and Egypt, staying true to his mission to deepen codeshare agreements and open up new accessibility options.
“The outbound tourism market in Egypt is growing, and business and leisure travellers now have one-stop access to the Seychelles archipelago via Abu Dhabi,” said Kinnear. “In turn, guests from Seychelles can discover the many wonders of the Egyptian capital, including the mesmerising pyramids of Giza.”
Cairo will be the carrier’s second North African codeshare point with Etihad Airways after the addition of Casablanca, Morocco in February 2015.
According to figures from the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics, Egyptian tourists accounted for 190 visitors in 2014, an almost negligible amount of the overall visitor arrivals.
Tourism and fisheries are the main income-generators in the economy of the Seychelles, and almost a quarter of a million tourists, mostly from Europe, visited the island nation last year to enjoy its white sands and clear blue waters, teeming with marine life.