Ethiopian Airlines to add flight to Seychelles in December
An Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner pictured at the Seychelles international airport in February, 2015. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Ethiopia’s national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, will add another weekly flight to Seychelles, the island nation’s tourism authorities announced on Wednesday.
Ethiopian Airlines will begin a fifth weekly flight to Seychelles, a 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, starting December 16 -- a move that has been welcomed by the Seychelles tourism minister.
“We depend entirely on air access for the consolidation of our tourism industry. Five flights a week by Ethiopian Airlines is indeed good news," Minister Alain St Ange said in a statement.
Tourism, trade and investment are the priority areas which the Ethiopian Ambassador to Seychelles accredited in May said he would be tackled during his mandate.
Ethiopian Airlines’ Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said that the additional service is aimed at providing more options for passengers using its strategic hub in Addis Ababa to fly to Seychelles and beyond.
Tourism is the main pillar of the Seychelles' economy. So far 226,029 visitors have come to the archipelago in 2016, representing a nine percent increase over last year.
Ethiopian Airlines’ area manager for Seychelles, Meseret Tekalign, on Wednesday told SNA that as tourism arrivals increase, the airline would like to contribute more “in this increasing demand of transportation as well as to offer a convenient connectivity options.”
“Recent statistics shows that our travellers are not only tourists but also residents who are coming home on different occasions and connecting from Seychelles to our more than 92 destinations,” said Tekalign.
Ethiopian Airlines operated three weekly flights to Seychelles from its hub in Addis Ababa for just over a year, before withdrawing on March 1, 2014 for profitability reasons.
The airline resumed thrice-weekly services to the Indian Ocean archipelago at the end of September 2014, adding a fourth flight in October 2015.