Austrian Airlines makes inaugural flight to Seychelles, latest in expanded flight offerings
There were 214 passengers onboard the Austrian Airline's inaugural flight Thursday. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles welcomed Austrian Airlines as it made its inaugural flight to the island nation on Thursday.
Austrian Airlines, which belongs to the Lufthansa Group, made Seychelles the fourth new destination that the airline has opened this year.
Greeted by the traditional cannon salute upon arrival, the Boing 767 carrying 214 passengers touched down at the international airport at Pointe Larue a few minutes before 9 a.m.
|The Boeing 767 touched down at the international airport at Pointe Larue a few minutes before 9 a.m. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
We had a full flight coming in on the first day today, October 26, which is also Austria’s National Day, and this is a positive start,” said Tobias Ernst, the regional General Manager of sales of the Lufthansa Group.
He said that visitors coming from Europe are the high-end tourists that the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean is looking for.
“You have a wonderful country -- great people, great food, sun and beach and that is basically what people from Europe are looking for and the reason why they are choosing Seychelles as one of their prime destinations this season,” said Ernst.
With 340 daily Austrian flights to 130 destinations in the Austrian network, the regional general manager said that “Seychelles is the new cherry on top”.
|As is customary, the airline was greeted by the traditional cannon salute upon arrival. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
The flight from Vienna will arrive in Seychelles every Thursday and is the third direct non-stop air service between Europe and Seychelles after Paris and Frankfurt.
“Direct flights from Europe are very important for our tourism industry. [It will] fill an important gap especially with the high-end tourism which we market for Seychelles,” said Maurice Loustau-Lalanne the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Port and Marine.
The ministry of tourism said in a press communiqué that “since January this year, we have welcomed 5,759 Austrian visitors, an increase of 19 percent, compared to the same period of last year. A growth rate of 40 percent is expected by the end of the year.” “The arrival of Austrian Airlines is very promising for Seychelles, in terms of exchanges between our two people, in trade and most importantly our tourism industry,” said Loustau-Lalanne.
He told the press that this year the two nations are celebrating 40 years of diplomatic relations, another reason to rejoice in the inaugural flight.
“The event this morning certainly confirms the excellent diplomatic relations that exist between our two countries. I can see further possibilities as we continue on this journey,” said the minister.