Air Seychelles on Friday announced its plans to scale up capacity on its flights to Mumbai by putting a wide body aircraft on the sector, starting next year. The African island nation’s airline at present operates narrow-body A320 plane on the route, which would be replaced with an Airbus A330 from March 2016, it said in a release. Air Seychelles is part owned by the Gulf carrier Etihad Airways which holds 24 per cent stake in Naresh Goyal-promoted Jet Airways as well.
The increase in capacity on Mumbai route is part of the airline’s a major fleet and network expansion plans that would see the airline inducting a second Airbus A330 aircraft in the fleet, it said. The airline has also announced introduction of non-stop twice-weekly flights from Seychelles to Düsseldorf and Durban besides increasing frequency on the Paris route to four flights per week from three at present.
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“In addition to flying to Europe, the (second) Airbus A330 will be used to increase capacity on the airline’s five-per-week regional services to Johannesburg, Mauritius and Mumbai which are currently operated on a narrow-body A320,” the release said.
The introduction of a second wide body — A330 –will facilitate the upgrading of capacity on South Africa’s largest city Johannesburg on Thursdays and Saturdays, Mumbai on Saturdays and Mauritius on Sundays, increasing the combined seat capacity on these routes by 23 per cent, the airline said. “Air Seychelles has grown extensively and robustly in 2016 and is now ready to embark on the next exciting chapter of its evolution, further enhancing air access to our archipelago and bringing more holidaymakers and business people to our shores.
“Both stakeholders, the Government of Seychelles and Etihad Airways fully support the airline’s plan to develop its European network by establishing a non-stop connection to Germany, a strategically-important market that is currently the second-largest source of inbound tourism after France,” Air Seychelles Chief Executive Officer Roy Kinnear said.
“The addition of a second wide-body A330 to our fleet is set to open up significant growth opportunities, enabling Air Seychelles to extend its network footprint in Europe and the Indian Ocean region,” he added.