Seychelles agrees on new air links with Czech Republic, eyes tourism and trade increase
The Seychelles Foreign Affairs Minister Joel Morgan (right) and the Czech Ambassador to the island nation Karel Hejč signing the air transport agreement on Thursday. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Tourism and trade are two areas the Seychelles authorities are hoping will benefit once more flexible air links are fully established with the Czech Republic.
A new air transport agreement was signed on Thursday between Seychelles and the Czech Republic. The accord will come into force once ratified by parliaments of both countries.
The Seychelles Foreign Affairs Minister says it’s an important step which goes further that strengthening ties between the European nation and the small island state.
Joel Morgan said the agreement “will also open new possibilities for our respective carriers to be able to join together in codeshare agreements.”
This he said, will provide for connectivity between the two countries but also on beyond points between Seychelles and the Czech Republic.
Air links, Morgan said, are important for businesses, highlighting the possibility to increase trade and tourism cooperation.
The Czech ambassador to Seychelles, Karel Hejč, who is based in Ethiopia, is also keen on seeing more visitors from his country coming to Seychelles.
“I am very much hopeful that this agreement will give the necessary boost to our national transport agencies, private carriers and the Seychellois economy which depends on the tourism industry,” said Hejč.
According to information provided to SNA by the foreign affairs ministry, tourism arrivals from the Czech Republic have grown by eight percent annually from 2012.
A total of 2,258 tourists from the Czech Republic came to the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean in 2015. To date in 2016, tourism arrival figures from the central European nation stand at 1,204.
When it comes to trade, Seychelles’ imported from the Czech Republic almost $900,000 worth of goods in 2015, including electrical appliances, pharmaceuticals and food products.
Steps to have an air transport agreement between the two countries were set into motion in December 2012.