Turkish Airlines begins thrice-weekly flights to Seychelles, linking the islands to 88 destinations
The inaugural flight with 206 passengers and crew onboard was greeted by a water canon salute as it touched down at the international airport. (Joena Bonnelame, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Turkey’s national carrier -- Turkish Airlines -- on Monday added Seychelles to its network, flying for the first time to the island nation.
Seychelles, a 115-island archipelago, becomes the airline’s third destination in the Indian Ocean region, 48th in Africa and 117th worldwide.
The inaugural flight with 206 passengers and crew onboard was greeted by a water canon salute as it touched down at the international airport, at Pointe Larue, on the eastern side of the Seychelles' main island, Mahe.
The airline’s chief marketing officer, Ahmet Olmustur said it was an honor to add “this great destination to our network.”
“We believe that these flights will contribute highly not only in terms of cultural relations but also in terms of economic relations,” Olmustur said during a press conference at the airport.
Olmustur told SNA that his airline is confident of being able to operate within the competitive market.
“We have almost ten destinations in Europe which other airlines do not fly to, so we have a huge network. Also we are not only flying to hubs but also to secondary and third cities in countries over Europe so I think it will boost the reservation,” he added.
|Alain St Ange, who on Saturday was appointed at the helm of the new Tourism, Civil Aviation, Port and Marine Ministry, said Turkish Airlines will be a boost for the Seychelles' tourism industry. (Joena Bonnelame, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Seychellois Tony Holmberg, travelling from Sweden, was among the first passengers on board the inaugural flight.
Holmberg told SNA that "it was a great flight with very good service on board.”
French national Victor Garcia boarded the flight following his transit in Istanbul from Paris.
“It was ideal for us as it corresponded with our flight date and the tickets were not that expensive,” he told SNA.
Seychelles relies on tourism, which mostly hail from European markets, to sustain the island nation’s economy.
Alain St Ange, who on Saturday was appointed at the helm of the new Tourism, Civil Aviation, Port and Marine Ministry, said being an island nation Seychelles is dependent on good air access and that Turkish Airlines will be a boost for the tourism industry.
“As it’s rightly stated in your promotional video, you are bridging the world and we need bridges for our tourism industry, as it is very clear that without this bridge to key source market, our tourism industry will not flourish,” St Ange said.
|Turkish Airlines chief marketing officer, Ahmet Olmustur (left sitting) and the Seychelles Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Port and Marine speaking at a press conference at the airport on Monday. (Joena Bonnelame, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Turkish Airlines will operate flights to Seychelles on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The flight linking Istanbul to the islands lasts seven and a half hours.
Olmustur said Turkish Airlines will monitor the passenger load and if it grows, they will probably increase the frequency to daily flights in order to cater for the demand.
|Turkish Airlines will operate thrice-weekly flights to the island nation. (Joena Bonnelame, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Turkish Airlines is the national carrier of Turkey and a member of the Star Alliance, which is the largest global airline alliance.
The carrier was voted “Europe’s Best Airline” in 2016 by the Skytrax World Airlines Award. This was the sixth consecutive year the airline bagged the award.
Flying to 292 destinations across Europe, Russia, Central Asia, Far East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North and South America – to more countries and international destinations than any other airlines – Turkish Airlines will connect passengers departing from Seychelles to 88 destinations.
This includes Paris, Dubai, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Bombay, Abu Dhabi, Vienna, Munich, Zurich, Rome, Moscow, Dusseldorf, Colombo and Hong Kong.