Air Seychelles has launched flights to and from the German city of Düsseldorf, offering convenient overnight travel to the beautiful islands. The twice-weekly service on the 254-seat Airbus A330 makes it even easier for visitors to jet off to the holiday paradise.
When the first flight landed at Düsseldorf International Airport following the ten-hour overnight flight, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles launched the inaugural HM14 service with a traditional celebratory water-cannon salute. Named after an island 20km from Mahé, Seychellois pilots Christophe Larue and Nicole Chang Leng piloted the mighty Airbus A330, "Silhouette".
Flexible travel choices
According to the Air Seychelles' chairman, the launch of the Germany to Seychelles service represents an increased commitment to improving air connectivity between the two locations. Jean Weeling-Lee says the aim is to provide guests with more flexibility and travel choices.
With 18 million residents, Düsseldorf is the most highly-populated city in Germany, making it a perfect gateway to international travel and a logical addition to Air Seychelles' network. Situated in western Germany and a major centre of commerce, it is one of the country's wealthiest cities, renowned for its world-famous art collection and home to the renowned Deutsche Oper am Rhein opera.
Mr Weeling-Lee says the airline is confident that the service will perform well, driving the sustainable growth of tourism for both Seychelles and Germany.
Convenient non-stop service
In 2016, almost 40,000 business and leisure travellers visited Seychelles from Germany and the non-stop direct service will make the journey more convenient, with evening departures and morning arrivals, says Roy Kinnear, Air Seychelles' chief executive officer.
He believes the flights are strategically important for Air Seychelles, as they serve one of the major sources of inbound tourism to the islands. As well as assisting visitors directly from Düsseldorf to Seychelles, the service is expected to serve travellers connecting through Mahé to the regional air services to Durban, Mauritius and Antananarivo in the Indian Ocean, in addition to Johannesburg in South Africa.
Offering a total of 1,016 seats each week, the flights will be operated by a two-class Airbus A330, with 236 economy class and 18 business class seats. The aircraft "Silhouette" and "Vallée de Mai" will operate on the route - the "Vallée de Mai" is named after the UNESCO-listed nature reserve on Praslin.
To enhance connectivity to the Seychelles and to further extend its market in Germany, Air Seychelles will codeshare on Airberlin’s domestic flights to other German cities, as well as Etihad Airways’ twice-daily service between Abu Dhabi and Düsseldorf. This will provide many additional travel options.
The national airline’s expansion plans for 2017 target the Indian Ocean region and Europe. Air Seychelles already operates direct flights to the French capital, Paris.
Mr Kinnear says the A330's colourful tail will be seen around the world, increasing the Seychelles' brand presence in important markets. "Aviation and tourism go hand in hand," he explained. "Air Seychelles' success is linked to the success of Seychelles as a whole.”
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