New DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 joins Air Seychelles domestic fleet
The new addition to the Air Seychelles domestic fleet - ' Isle of Denis' ( Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles national airline Air Seychelles welcomed a new aircraft for its domestic fleet, the DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft named ‘Isle of Denis’ at the Seychelles International Airport yesterday.
The 19-seater turboprop aircraft journeyed from Calgary, Canada to the Seychelles islands in the western Indian Ocean, covering a distance of 16,770 kilometres, and landed to a water cannon salute.
The plane, which is named after Denis island, a coralline island in the northern region of the 115-island archipelago, will join 5 other Twin Otters to fly between 5 islands in a domestic service that comprises of 200 domestic scheduled flights a week.
|The plane is greeted by a traditional water canon salute at the Seychelles International airport. ( Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
The new plane is part of a multi-million dollar deal between Air Seychelles and Viking Air Limited from Canada to purchase three DHC-6 Twin Otters series 400 in October last year. The first of two aircrafts named ‘Isle of Bird’ and ‘Isle of La Digue’ landed in Seychelles in August 2014.
“The arrival of a new Twin Otter aircraft marks a proud moment for Air Seychelles, which is continuing to invest in the future of the airline, its people and the country of Seychelles,” said the Seychelles Minister of Foreign Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan, during the welcoming ceremony.
Morgan, who is also the chairman of Air Seychelles, highlighted how these aircrafts have connected the Seychelles islands for more than thirty years, offering a flying experience that he called ‘highly convenient and memorable to our islands for both our international and local commuters.’
Roy Kinnear, chief executive of Air Seychelles said in a press statement, “We are delighted to welcome a new Twin Otter aircraft into our fleet, which rounds off several recent developments aimed at strengthening our domestic operation."
|Vice President Danny Faure (fourth from right) Air Seychelles CEO Roy Kinnear (on his left), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan (on his right) and Minister for Tourism and culture Alain Saint Ange (second from right) cutting the ribbon to officially welcome the new aircraft. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Following the plane’s landing, around 65 excited children from the President’s Village children’s home, located in the Port Glaud district in the west of main island Mahe and Anse Boileau Primary school on the south-west coast of the island, were taken for special sightseeing flights over the Seychelles islands.
11-year-old Milcah, and 10-year-old Terrah, thrilled by the experience expressed their enthusiasm to SNA.
“It was fun," said Milcah. "We were able to see the islands and the seas and the mountains,” added Terrah.
‘Isle of Denis’ starts flying with the other five Twin Otters of the domestic fleet on Friday between the two main islands Mahe and Praslin, and in addition, charter flights to other islands including Bird, Desroches and Denis after which it has been named.
Air Seychelles has been operating Twin Otters since 1980. Apart from the three DHC- 400 Series aircraft, it also has two DHC-6 Series 300 aircraft.
Air Seychelles was established in 1977 as Seychelles Airlines and adopted the present title in September 1978. The airline was wholly owned by the Seychelles government until January 2012 when UAE's Etihad Airways bought a 40 percent share of Air Seychelles leaving the Seychelles government with the remaining 60 percent ownership.