Seychelles has welcomed back in its skies one of Africa’s airlines – Ethiopian Airlines – as it resumes its weekly flights to the islands.
Ethiopian Airlines’ last flight landed at the Seychelles International Airport on March 1, 2014 and since then it had taken the decision to stop flying to the islands.
The airline had three weekly flights to Seychelles prior to making that decision to stop operating to Seychelles.
Ethiopian Airlines first flew to the Seychelles islands on January 22, 2012 and is now the second airline to retrieve its route to Seychelles after Air Austral of Reunion Island.
The resumption of flights by Ethiopia’s flag carrier to Seychelles has been greatly welcomed by the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St. Ange, and Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Naiken, who joined the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, Gilbert Faure, at the airport on Monday to welcome the airline’s passengers and crew.
Speaking to members of the press who were present, Minister St. Ange said the resumption of flights by the airline shows that Seychelles is a serious tourism destination and one able to attract airlines from the Community of Nations.
He added that every airline that lands at the Seychelles International Airport is a vital step for the country’s tourism industry which is the main pillar of its economy.
Minister St. Ange said that the Seychelles tourism industry depends on air access to make it work.
“Today we are happy to see two out of three airlines that had stopped their operations to Seychelles fly back in our skies,” the Minister responsible for Tourism added.
“It shows confidence in our country as a destination and that we are always working to attract airlines to our shores,” the Minister said.
Minister St. Ange also said that as a country, Seychelles needs to show that it wants airlines to link Seychelles to the world.
The 118-seat Ethiopian Airline carrier landed in Seychelles with 83 passengers, having mostly Chinese tourists.
Minister St. Ange also commended the airline for opening new possibilities for markets such as China, Europe, and the USA.
The airline has a good link to France connecting with its Seychelles flight, and it is believed that this will help Seychelles to regain its position in the French market.
Ethiopian Airlines, which will have three flights to Seychelles per week, is set to have its own representative in Seychelles soon.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).
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