Inaugural ceremony marks return of Air France, via subsidiary airline Joon, to Seychelles
The inaugural ceremony took place on Tuesday. (Salifa karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency))
(Seychelles News Agency) - After a 20-year absence, Air France is returning to Seychelles through its subsidiary airline, Joon, an event marked by an inaugural ceremony on Tuesday.
Joon has been linking Seychelles – a 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean – with Paris, France since May 5, with three weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
The Senior Vice President of Air France KLM in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Latin America, Henri Hourcade, said that “this is a new stage in the relationship between Seychelles and Air France as well as between the two countries through cultural, economic, historic relations.”
“Thanks to the strength of our hub in Paris Charles de Gaulle, we are able to propose to our clients the links to and from countries that count the most for the development of tourism in Seychelles,” said Hourcade.
Tourism is the leading contributor to the economy of Seychelles.
During the press conference, it was announced that the time of arrival of flights on Tuesdays is a strategic one as it will facilitate connection with flights to Praslin, the second-most populated island of Seychelles.
|Joon has been linking Seychelles with Paris, France since May 5. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
“Praslin is an equally important destination for the France market as 25 percent of our clients go to Praslin,” said Hourcade.
He explained that for the summer schedule there will only be one early flight providing an easier exit to Praslin. This will be extended to the other two flights for the winter schedule.
According to the local National Bureau of Statistics, France currently holds second place in terms of visitor arrivals to Seychelles with 17,289 visitors to date for the year. That is 415 visitors behind Germany.
The regional director of Europe at the Seychelles Tourism Board, Bernadette Willemin, said that the arrival of Joon is good news for the France market.
“The France market has always been the main market for Seychelles. The strength of Joon lays in that it is an Air France company and they have their own network, a network connecting the world, and this will allow Seychelles to further tap into other European markets,” said Willemin.
The chief executive of Joon, Jean Michel Mathieu, said that “travelling with Joon enables our customers to benefit from all Air France structure and expertise: at the airport, with Skypriority and lounge access, on customer assistance, with our loyalty programme Flying Blue.”