- CAPA Analysis
- Schedule Analysis
- Cargo Analysis
- Market Share
- Low Cost Carriers
- Economics & Trade
- Fast Fact Report
- IATA Code
- International Airlines serving this country (excluding codeshares)
The Seychelles International Airport in Mahé is the only international airport in the Seychelles. Air Seychelles (in which Etihad has taken a shareholding) operates a shuttle service between Mahé and Praslin, the second largest island. Also part of the air network is Helicopter Seychelles and Zil Air, which are helicopter charter companies specialising in island transfers, excursions and chartered scenic flights throughout the Seychelles. The Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) is the body responsible for regulating the air transport industry in the country.
Airports in Seychelles
22 total articles
Partnerships are easier to announce than to sustain. That is evident with Etihad Airways and its Abu Dhabi hub, which is experiencing a decrease in capacity and flights from Etihad's equity and codeshare partners. Etihad established itself as the nucleus of a model in which partner airlines from around the world fly to Abu Dhabi and connect passengers onwards. Now all but one of Etihad's investment airlines are shrinking in Abu Dhabi. All partner capacity has fallen 22% compared to 2015 but is still up 46% compared to 2013.
This is not a one-way review but a significant shake up in relatively short time. On 18-Jan-2017 CEO James Hogan remarked "We are committed to our equity partner strategy." A week later on 24-Jan-2017, as Etihad's chairman announced Mr Hogan's departure in 2H2017 (with no successor named), he said Etihad remains committed to its equity network but opened the door to adjustments: "We must ensure that the airline is the right size and the right shape. We must progress and adjust our airline equity partnerships."
Etihad's partnership approach, and its challenges to address ailing airberlin, could further adjust on 01-Feb-2017 as Etihad and Lufthansa plan further cooperation. Even though airberlin has mostly delivered financial pain, it could provide the key to an invaluable strategic bridge.
The Middle East's three big network airlines – Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways – are following different growth paths in 2016. Emirates is largely holding course, continuing recent 10% p/a ASK growth. Qatar Airways is accelerating growth and so far for 2016 will add as many ASKs as Emirates will – the first year it will do so.
After growing around 20% p/a for most of its short history, Etihad is decelerating with 10% growth although its net ASK additions will be similar to levels in 2012 and 2013. Etihad wants to bed down growth, replace partner aircraft it has been using, and improve equity partner financials amidst the Abu Dhabi government reducing spending, as observed elsewhere in the Middle East following the sharp decrease in oil price. Etihad's size in 2016 is about where Emirates was in mid-2007 while Qatar in 2016 is about the size Emirates was in 2010. Emirates has doubled in size between 2010 and 2016. Etihad has pursued partner growth. There are signs of pressure: ASK growth has outpaced RPK growth in 15 of the 17 months since Oct-2014, and load factors are falling to lows not seen in recent years.
Etihad continues to implement new forms of cooperation with its equity partner airlines, pushing beyond the limits of other partnerships not involving a controlling stake. The Etihad equity alliance goes beyond codesharing and revenue-generating activities to also seek cost synergies, which partnerships and alliances have seldom managed to achieve.
Etihad is now moving from specific operational synergies (crew resources, aircraft) to macro financing across the group via a USD700 million joint bond financing transaction in the capital market. The allocation of the funds is nearly 20% each to Etihad, Etihad Airport Services, airberlin and Alitalia; 16% to Jet Airways; and the remainder to Air Serbia and Air Seychelles. This is the first time that Etihad and its equity partners have raised funds together and may be the first such joint financing anywhere in the airline industry.
Etihad's equity alliance consists of non-controlling stakes. Nevertheless, as the airline itself said in a release on 21-Sep-2015, the partners collaborate "through measures which otherwise would only be available through mergers or takeovers". Etihad Airways Partners is looking and feeling more and more like a consolidated group of companies under common ownership and control.
Once rejected by global alliances, Etihad Airways has turned around and established its own partnership platform, "Etihad Airways Partners". Partners has familiarity to existing alliances: commercial relations are emphasised, there are frequent flyer benefits and aircraft will have the Partners logo.
But Partners is not simply a de facto fourth global airline alliance. Etihad is starting small with six members. This view requires Etihad's standard disclaimer that it seeks not to be the biggest but to have the highest quality.
Partners in some ways is a branding of what Etihad has already done, and plans to continue to do, in the loyalty space. Consolidating loyalty programmes reduces costs while providing scale.
Many will rejoice that Air Seychelles is to resume flights to Paris on 02-Jul-2014. The old Air Seychelles, operating as an independent company, had a long and painful withdrawal from Europe as fuel prices and the global financial crisis made services prohibitively expensive.
Under a new partnership with Etihad, Air Seychelles launched a moderate network, flying to Johannesburg, Etihad's hub at Abu Dhabi as well as serving Hong Kong. But Europe – the core market for the Seychelles – remained linked only via Etihad codeshares and not the flag carrier's own metal. While the Seychelles decided its carrier needed to be sustainable, and so introduced Etihad's involvement, there were emotional ties to the old days.
Twice-weekly services to Paris CDG arrive five months later than planned and will be routed via Abu Dhabi, allowing Air Seychelles to pick up passengers from Etihad to fill the A330-200 that Air Seychelles would struggle to fill sustainably on its own. Meanwhile a limited partnership with Cathay Pacific helps Air Seychelles on its other long-haul route. Air Seychelles has reported its second annual profit while CEO Cramer Ball, who arrived after the Etihad partnership, has left, giving the reins to Manoj Papa.
Cathay Pacific is consolidating its Middle East network, largely prompted by a flood of capacity in the Middle East-Philippines market. Passengers from the Philippines alone often comprise half or more of Cathay's Middle East flights. The Middle East-Philippines market has grown rapidly, led by a 70% increase in UAE-Philippines capacity as Cebu Pacific launched long-haul flights and Emirates and Etihad increased capacity.
The smaller Saudi Arabia-Philippines market has grown by over 60%. The result has been over-capacity with no winners as the market is intensely price-driven by contractors seeking seats for Filipino migrant workers. Cathay's reductions, while small, are likely only the start of needed consolidation between the Philippines and Middle East.
Cathay is particularly at the losing end as its once-tidy Philippines-Middle East market has come under Gulf and LCC competition that can offer lower fares and more direct services. Some Philippines-Middle East markets require two stops due to triangular routings, which are being discontinued. Also discontinued are services to Jeddah and Abu Dhabi. Air Seychelles, 40% owned by Etihad, introduced Abu Dhabi-Hong Kong services in 2013.
While Cathay may not experience such fierce and sudden competition changes elsewhere in its market, it is an unwelcome example of what such vibrant market conditions including more Gulf, LCC and non-stop competition can do to its network, which has partially relied on traffic other carriers could not or did not bother to carry. While that has been a smart network foundation, it is also a shifting one, as European carriers and even Singapore Airlines have found.