- CAPA Analysis
- Route Maps
- Annual Reports
- Print Summary
- IATA Code
- ICAO Code
- Corporate Address
- The Creole Spirit, Quincy Street
- Main hub
- Mahe Island Seychelles International Airport
- Business model
- Full Service Carrier
- Association Membership
- Codeshare Partners
South African Airways
Air Seychelles is the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, with its base at Seychelles International Airport. The carrier operates regional, inter-island services as well as international services to South Africa, Europe and Singapore. Air Seychelles was wholly-owned by the Seychelles government, until Etihad purchased a 40% stake in it in Jan-2012.
Location of Air Seychelles main hub (Mahe Island Seychelles International Airport)
127 total articles
12 total articles
South African Airways has become the latest carrier to join the embrace of the Gulf carriers, signing a codeshare agreement with Etihad which adds 22 new codeshare connections between Africa and the Middle East and follows another important codeshare agreement with India’s Jet Airways. The agreements mark a shift for cash-strapped SAA towards recognition that as an end-of-line carrier it must develop a more virtual long-haul network. Such partnerships are part of SAA’s long term turnaround strategy and allow the carrier to extend its network without the need to commit capital to expensive long-haul aircraft.
SAA acting CEO Nico Bezuidenthout said the codeshare agreements would grow the carrier’s revenue, with initial expectations that the Etihad partnership would add about ZAR100 million (USD11 million) a year to revenue.
Meanwhile Etihad will increase its already comprehensive African coverage with the addition of SAA which improves access to the continent’s biggest economy.
Air Mauritius is well on the road to recovery, a year into a five-year plan that aims to implement a new business model that restructures its operations to become less dependent on traditional, but flagging, European markets and instead turn the airline’s focus to the growth markets around the Indian Ocean Rim and Asia.
A seven step recovery plan launched in Feb-2012 as profits crumbled into losses saw Air Mauritius undertake a major network consolidation which involved withdrawing its services to Germany, Italy and Switzerland as well as service reductions to China, Australia and Africa. But, with its network brought back into balance, and profitability restored, Air Mauritius has resumed a growth path with plans to launch a direct service to Beijing and reinstating some suspended routes and capacity in key markets.
The Seychelles attracted 4,500 Chinese tourists in 2012, so it and flag carrier Air Seychelles look with envy to the Maldives, which in 2012 had 230,000 Chinese tourists. Air Seychelles hopes to attract a greater number of Chinese visitors not only from its flights departing Hong Kong, the first of which left on 25-Mar-2013, but via traffic feed across mainland China from a pending partnership with Cathay Pacific that it hopes to announce in coming weeks. In exchange for feed, Air Seychelles' link will enable Cathay to sell the Seychelles, finally giving it a presence in China's booming demand for luxury tropical getaways. And the Cathay partnership may be extended to Air Seychelles' part-owner Etihad Airways.
Air Seychelles links Mahe to Hong Kong via Abu Dhabi, effectively giving Etihad Airways – which owns 40% of Air Seychelles – an Abu Dhabi-Hong Kong flight via codeshare in absence of its own service to Hong Kong due to aircraft shortages. This use of open air service agreements, at Air Seychelles/Etihad and globally, is only in its early days. A MoU between the Seychelles and Australia could also in the long-term allow Air Seychelles to expand Etihad's footprint in Australia at a time when competitor Emirates is dominating the continent and the UAE-Australia bilateral capacity is capped.
There are duelling ambitions for the new Hong Kong service from Air Seychelles, revitalised following Etihad Airways' Jan-2012 equity stake and secondment of Cramer Ball as CEO. First – and the carrier is fortunate to have options – is to promote the island nation by using Hong Kong as an Asian hub, with, probably, a partnership with Cathay Pacific that would start conservatively but could grow, and perhaps extend to Etihad Airways.
Second is Air Seychelles' ability, if it chooses, to rely initially on feed from Etihad, which owns 40% of the flag carrier. Etihad does not yet serve Hong Kong and Air Seychelles is routing its Hong Kong service via Etihad's hub at Abu Dhabi. Etihad will have a free sale codeshare on the Abu Dhabi-Hong Kong service, almost making the route its own.
This is not a reflection of a surrogate airline but rather a changed world and the power of hubs. Air Seychelles very much has its own strategy and is looking to shake up African aviation by forming ties (independent of Etihad) with Air Austral and South African Airways.
Hardest hit from the European economic situation, aside from the carriers that have collapsed, are far away from continental Europe in the Indian Ocean, which contains the self-proclaimed Vanilla Islands grouping of countries: La Reunion, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles. These nations' carriers are largely dependent on European leisure traffic, which has evaporated in the dual threat of weakening economies and high fuel prices that provide no stimulation to whatever demand is left.
The starkness of the situation has been demonstrated most recently by Air Austral, which over the northern winter will reduce its long-haul network to a single destination and will postpone – or possibly cancel – its order for two Airbus A380s, following it being unable to pay for a new Boeing 777 awaiting delivery. Air Austral is also looking to partner with Air Mauritius to maintain a connection to Australia, a further sign that the situation in Europe is forcing the Vanilla Island carriers to make medium/long-term strategy changes that will finally strengthen them. Etihad Airways earlier this year acquired a stake in Air Seychelles and is now lending management oversight to the Seychelles flag carrier while the region's other carriers have conducted overdue network reviews.
Air Austral’s decision to reverse its suspension of Bangkok, Sydney and Noumea services comes shortly after Etihad Airways and Air Seychelles signed a strategic partnership, including Etihad taking a 40% stake and injecting USD45 million into the cash-strapped national carrier of the Seychelles. Prior to the Etihad agreement, Air Seychelles had reached an agreement with Air Austral for the La Reunion-based carrier to operate twice-weekly service from the Seychelles to Paris CDG.
That capacity deployment was due to commence on 27-Mar-2012, right after the 26-Mar-2012 suspension of twice-weekly Reunion-Sydney-Noumea service and shortly after the 20-Mar-2012 suspension of the weekly Bangkok frequency. Air Austral cited high fuel prices and unfavourable economic conditions.
Great news! CAPA now offers email and phone contact functionality through its partnership with Gooey. Corporate access for this feature is USD1000 per annum.