It has now been confirmed that Air Seychelles will launch nonstop flights, twice a week, between Mahe and Abu Dhabi as of 12th March, alongside the present 4 frequencies by Etihad, Abu Dhabis national airline, which now owns 40 percent of its shares. The airline will use one of their B767-300 aircraft in a two class configuration, and codeshare with Etihad, to Abu Dhabi and beyond.
The same source also confirmed that by June 2012 the number of flights between Mahe and Abu Dhabi will be raised to 7 a week, offering daily connections to the Seychelles from across the Etihad network via their hub. It is not clear at this time if the 7th flight from June this year onwards will be operated by Etihad with their A320 aircraft or by Air Seychelles using their B767.
Etihad started operations to the Seychelles only in early November last year and then invested 20 million US Dollars in Air Seychelles against a 40 percent shareholding, following an agreement between the two governments to part privatize the airline. With the injection of a further 25 million US Dollars in working capital it set Air Seychelles on a recovery path which will manifest itself in coming months with the introduction of new aircraft, expected to be an A 320 to cover flights from Mahe to Mauritius and Johannesburg, as well as new routes to the African mainland, while the B767s are expected to be exchanged for the more fuel efficient A330s to launch new destinations in the Far East. Watch this space for aviation news from the Indian Ocean islands.
Archive for February 17th, 2012
7 DEGREES SOUTH RECEIVES HUNGARIAN CHARTER FLIGHT
It was learned from a regular source on the island of Mahe that 7 Degrees South, one of the Seychelles leading DMCs has received over 100 tourist visitors off a chartered B737-800 from Hungary, which is part of a series of such flights between Budapest and Mombasa / Kenya, but was extended to the Seychelles following an agreement with the Safari Travel Company in Hungary.
The deal is according to the source good news for Seychelles because we as a destination get exposure in Hungary from where we do not have so many tourists visitors. Besides the charters there are the scheduled flights of other airlines from Budapest via the Gulf, which makes it easy for others to come to our islands.
The Seychelles Tourism Board and private sector, led by SHTA, have been active in working new and emerging markets in Eastern Europe and Asia and will see this first as a sign that demand for holidays to the Creole Island Paradise can indeed be generated by creative and innovative approaches to promoting the archipelago abroad, even in partnership with African mainland destinations, which STB has been actively promoting in the past as two centre holidays, combining safaris in East Africa with beach holidays in the Seychelles.
Following the audit of over 20.000 votes by readers of African Aviation News has Ethiopian Airlines once again been crowned African Airlines of the year 2011/12 in an award ceremony earlier in the week. The prestigious award has underscored ETs efforts to stay at the leading edge of African aviation in a hard fought battle to attain supremacy in the African skies.
Kenya Airways took the runners up spot to take the silver award back to Nairobi and Precision Air of Tanzania came a respectable third and took the bronze award home to Dar es Salaam. None of the airlines from North, West or South Africa made it into the top three, showing the level of advancement aviation has made in the wider Eastern African region, leaving much of the continent to play catch up with them in terms of destinations, fleet size, current orders and connectivity through their respective hubs via alliance membership. Congratulations to Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and Precision Air for their constant leadership in Africa.
Earlier speculation was confirmed overnight when Ethiopian Airlines was named by Bombardier as the customer for a further 5 orders of the state of the art turboprop aircraft of Q400 NextGen make. Two of the planes will be used by Ethiopian directly while three of them will be deployed to ASKY Airlines, operating out of Togo, a partner airline under ETs management.
This latest order brings to 13 the number of these cost efficient short and medium haul regional turboprop planes, which Ethiopian incidentally also uses for some of their flights between Addis Ababa and Entebbe.
The transaction is reportedly worth some 160 million US Dollars.
Ethiopian Airlines is one of Africas leading airlines, serving 64 destinations in Africa and overseas and is THE erstwhile Pan African carrier, creating the concept of connecting Africa from within. A recent addition to the globally leading Star Alliance the third African member airline after South African Airways and Egypt Air Ethiopian is the choice partner in Africa for such global giants as Lufthansa, with which ET codeshares on the route between Frankfurt and Addis Ababa and beyond. Watch this space for breaking news from Eastern Africas aviation industry.
Mauritius aviation news – Air Mauritius expected to axe up to 8 destinations under cost cutting initative
AIR MAURITIUS TO AXE UP TO 8 ROUTES
Further information received from Port Louis now speaks of a consulting firm, hired by the top management of Air Mauritius, to have recommended the cutting of up to 8 routes not bringing in the revenues expected of them. The same source also suggested that the airline may offload their entire A 340 fleet, as the aircraft were now considered to be too expensive to operate. While the management of the airline apparently insists, that any such changes would not result in staff reductions, experience from a year ago at Air Seychelles suggests otherwise, as even there assurances were given before a massive cost saving programme eventually resulted in redundancies anyway, a parallel two sources in Mauritius quickly jumped on. I have followed what happened at Air Seychelles. If 8 routes go, the staff needed to support those routes will have nothing to do. And if the A 340 are to be sold, the crews are also surplus. I am also not sure what concentrating on the other routes will entail. Because even there cost cutting is inevitable. The airline needs a strong partner to survive, alone it will absolutely not be possible or otherwise we go the same way like Air Seychelles. They were only saved because their President has such close ties with Abu Dhabi, but otherwise, they would have ended up with one aircraft and three or maybe four routes.
As said before here, the writing is on the wall, difficult economic times in aviation makes the need for difficult decisions even greater and whatever happens in Port Louis, you will read it right here, so watch this space.