x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

International passenger growth almost doubles for Air Seychelles after fleet and schedule expansion

Air Seychelles, 40 per cent owned by the UAE’s national carrier Etihad Airways, said its international passenger growth had almost doubled in the third quarter.

Air Seychelles, partly owned by the UAE’s national carrier Etihad Airways, said its international passenger growth had almost doubled in the third quarter as the island nation’s airline expanded its fleet and schedules.

Passengers travelling on Air Seychelles’s international services rose to 55,238 in the quarter ending September 30, compared with 28,847 in the same quarter a year ago, the airline said yesterday.

The total number of passengers on domestic and international flights rose 42 per cent to 99,946 in the third quarter year-on-year, it said.

“We have seen solid performance across our entire network in Q3 with solid growth in all our key markets and a strong and accelerating contribution from our codeshare partners,” said Cramer Ball, the chief executive of Air Seychelles.

“With our continuing focus on containing costs, we are confident we will deliver a strong financial return to our shareholders and to our home economy.”

The airline’s flights to and from Mauritius had the highest quarterly passenger gain in three years, with 9,041 passengers being ferried on the route, a gain of 39 per cent.

Etihad Airways, the third-biggest airline in the Middle East after Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways, acquired a 40 per cent stake in Air Seychelles last year, investing US$20 million and giving it a $25m loan.

The Indian Ocean carrier also said the volume of cargo it transported in the third quarter almost tripled to 1.6 million tons from the same period the previous year.

mkassem@thenational.ae