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Air Seychelles

Air Seychelles
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1977
Hubs Seychelles International Airport
Frequent-flyer program Etihad Guest
Airport lounge Salon de Vallee de Mai (SEZ)
Fleet size 11
Destinations 10
Parent company Government of Seychelles (60%), Etihad Airways (40%)
Headquarters Seychelles International Airport
Mahé, Seychelles
Key people
Revenue US$ 106.9 million (2014)[3]
Profit US$ 3.2 million (2014)[3]
Employees 650 (2014)[3]
Website .com.airseychelleswww

Air Seychelles is the national airline of the Seychelles, with its head office on the property of Seychelles International Airport on the island of Mahé.[4] It operates inter-island services and international flights. Its main base is Seychelles International Airport. The airline is currently 40% owned by Etihad Airways.


  • History 1
    • Establishment 1.1
    • First Boeing 767 1.2
    • Restructuring 1.3
  • Corporate affairs 2
    • Ownership 2.1
    • Business trends 2.2
    • Corporate livery 2.3
  • Destinations 3
    • Codeshare agreements 3.1
    • UK Operations 3.2
  • Fleet 4
    • Current fleet 4.1
    • Retired fleet 4.2
  • Services 5
    • Cabin 5.1
      • Pearl class 5.1.1
      • Economy plus 5.1.2
      • Economy class 5.1.3
    • Air France alliance 5.2
    • Charter services 5.3
      • UK Ministry of Defence 5.3.1
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Air Seychelles Boeing 767-300ER in the current livery at Seychelles international Airport
An Air Seychelles Boeing 707-320C on short final to Paris Orly Airport in 1989.


The airline was established by the Seychelles government on 15 September 1977, following the merger of Air Mahé and Inter-Island Airways, as Seychelles Airlines and adopted the present title in September 1978. It started international routes in 1983 to Frankfurt and London by chartering an aircraft from British Caledonian. The flight, a DC10 aircraft, operated on a weekly basis from London Gatwick to Mahe via Frankfurt.

First Boeing 767

Air Seychelles previously operated a fleet of Boeing 767s on its international network, with two classes of service, Pearl Class (Business class) and Economy Class.

On 27 June 1989, Air Seychelles received its first Boeing 767 (Registration S7-AAS), a new Boeing 767-200ER,[5] which was leased from ILFC, that made its way to the Seychelles straight off the production line of Boeing. The aircraft landed at Seychelles International Airport after it had completed the longest non-stop flight for a twin-engine aircraft at the time, which began in Grand Rapids, USA on the 26 June. The flight lasted a total of 16 hours 49 minutes and 29 seconds[6] and covered a great circle distance of 14,311 km (8,893 miles).[5] This record was broken nearly a year later by the same type of aircraft on 10 June 1990.[7] This remarkable aircraft also had the landing gear of the 767-300 which allowed it to carry a full load of cargo, passengers and fuel without the limitations of the 767-200. Air Seychelles later returned the aircraft in April 2001 after 12 years in service.[8]

Based at the Seychelles International Airport (SEZ), for many years until January 2012 it also operated a small hub at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris in a strategic alliance with Air France which served some former destinations (such as Manchester and Madrid). It is also the major ground handling agent for all aircraft operating at SEZ (Seychelles International Airport).


In February 2012 the United Arab Emirates's Etihad Airways invested US$45 million in Air Seychelles for a 40% share in the airline.

After running at a loss for two years in a row, Air Seychelles planned to restructure and reposition itself to return to profit. The airline entered into codeshare agreements with Etihad Airways and started flying to Abu Dhabi in March 2012 to connect to Etihad Airways' extensive network of destinations after discontinuing all flights to Europe in January 2012. Passengers now travel to Europe and beyond via Abu Dhabi from the Seychelles. Flights to China have started in January 2013 and other new destinations have been added.

On 16 March 2012, Air Seychelles announced a two-year business plan with the objective of improving the carrier’s position. The plan outlines the renewal of Air Seychelles fleet, leveraging Etihad Airways equity partnership. Highlights of the plan include:

  • The introduction of Airbus A330-200 aircraft,
  • The launch of services to Beijing in early 2013, offering through connections to Johannesburg via the Seychelles,
  • Increased frequencies to key destinations,
  • Closer cooperation with Etihad Airways to identify economies of scale and synergies in staff training, procurement and product development,
  • Extended codeshare operations with Etihad Airways to connect the Seychelles, through Abu Dhabi, with a global network of passenger and cargo destinations.[9]

On 12 March 2015 Air Seychelles released their results for 2014, declaring US$3.2 million in net profits. However, a visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission urged the government of Seychelles to increase its efforts towards governance and oversight of state-owned enterprises; in a statement on 24 March the Air Seychelles said that the IMF had pointed out that the company was operating at a loss. "...the IMF reviewed the airline’s profit and loss, balance sheet, and strategic plan. While the airline’s management detailed to the IMF significant growth in the business and improvement in key indicators, the IMF observed that the airline had declared a profit at a net level, which includes all revenue and costs, but had incurred a loss at an operating level," read the statement. "The IMF expressed that Air Seychelles should also disclose financial results at an operating level, in addition to results at a net level." [10]

Corporate affairs


Air Seychelles was originally set up and owned by the Government of Seychelles, having purchased and grouped together several small aircraft operators under one company. Following problems of management and profitability, Etihad Airways acquired a 40 per cent stake in Air Seychelles in 2012, in a deal worth $45m. The current shareholders are:[11]

An Air Seychelles Boeing 767-300ER in the new livery. (2011)
Name Interest
Government of Seychelles 60%
Etihad Airways PJSC 40%
Total 100%

Business trends

The key trends for Air Seychelles over recent years are shown below (as at year ending 31 December):

2012 2013 2014
Turnover (US$m) 42.8 88.7 106.9
Net Profits (US$m) 1.1 3.0 3.2
Number of employees (at year end) 536 629 650
Number of passengers (000s) 241 352 412
Passenger load factor (%) 50 60
Number of aircraft (at year end) 10
Notes/sources [12][13] [3][14][15]

Corporate livery

In October 2011, after nearly 25 years in the traditional red, white and green local colours with two white terns (Gygis alba candida, national bird of Seychelles), Air Seychelles painted its first Boeing 767-300ER aircraft in the company's new colors. The colors used on the tail end are blue, green, red and white.[16]


Air Seychelles currently flies to Abu Dhabi, Antananarivo, Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Mumbai and Paris.

Codeshare agreements

Currently, Air Seychelles has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:

UK Operations

Throughout its operation in the United Kingdom, Air Seychelles has made more terminal changes than most major airlines at the London airports. For 20 years, it operated out of Gatwick Airport (South) until moving to Heathrow Terminal One in spring 2003, then on to Heathrow Terminal Two in 2005 as well as to Gatwick North terminal from 2009 to 2010 when it operated to both Gatwick and Heathrow airports. Finally, in November 2009 it moved to Heathrow Terminal Four until early 2012 when the London route was dropped. It also operated out of Manchester Airport (terminal two) in the late 1990s for nearly two years until focusing solely on London by the end of the 1990s.[22]


Current fleet

DHC-6 Twin Otter

The Air Seychelles fleet includes the following aircraft:[23]

After over two decades of an all Boeing fleet which over the years have included a large variety of Boeing 767, Boeing 757, Boeing 737 and the Boeing 707 in the early days, Air Seychelles introduced the Airbus A330 as part of its fleet from the summer of 2012 to serve its long haul destinations to include China from early 2013.

Retired fleet

An Air Seychelles Boeing 737-700 on approach to Dubai International Airport in 2004.

Air Seychelles has previously operated these aircraft.[27][28][29]



Pearl class

Pearl Class is the name that has been used by the airline for its Business Class since the start of international operations in 1983. Seats are arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration with 82 inch pitch and can extend to a 65 degrees Lie-flat sleeping mode, with a 'privacy shell' around the seat.[30]

Economy plus

This was a temporary class of service on the Boeing 767-200 introduced for a brief period from December 2007 to September 2008. Seats in Economy Plus were wider and have more legroom than seats in Economy Class, they were offered on routes with less than an 8-hour flying time which Air Seychelles classed as regional flights such as Bangkok, Johannesburg, Mauritius and Singapore. After returning a leased Boeing 767-200EM in September 2008, the airline discontinued offering an Economy Plus cabin and reverted to its traditional Pearl and Economy class service on all of its Boeing aircraft.

Economy class

Economy Class seats are arranged in a 2-4-2 manner, with a seat pitch between 32 and 33 inches. These seats have an adjustable headrest and footrest.[31]

Air France alliance

From 1997 to 2012 Air Seychelles and Air France formed a strategic codeshare agreement which saw Air Seychelles operating flights on behalf of Air France from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport to the Seychelles and vice versa. The arrangement were such that passengers could travel on Air Seychelles and connect to any Air France flight throughout Europe and beyond at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport. The seats were shared amongst both airlines and each company remained responsible for the commercialisation of its capacity. Air Seychelles disclosed in 2009 that newer terms and conditions of the agreement was aimed at improving the route economics for Air Seychelles, thanks to a new balance between seat price, capacity share and fuel costs adjustment mechanism between the two airlines.[32]

Charter services

UK Ministry of Defence

Air Seychelles announced in January 2010 [33] that it had begun operations to the Falklands as part of a contract with the UK Ministry of Defence to provide the only scheduled air link, commonly known as the South Atlantic air bridge, from mainland UK to Ascension and the Falklands. Air Seychelles successfully bid for it after the ministry had to seek a replacement after the previous operator went bankrupt. Air Seychelles was successful due to its experience of flying 767s and of island locations. One of the airline's five 767s, a Boeing 767-300ER, was to be permanently based in the UK to fly the twice-weekly service to Ascension and onwards to the Falklands. Crews were positioned in Ascension and the UK.

Air Seychelles ended its contract in the third quarter of 2011; it was taken over by the British charter Airline Titan Airways[34]


  1. ^ "MANOJ PAPA APPOINTED CEO OF AIR SEYCHELLES". Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Cathy Buyck (2 February 2012). "Air Seychelles appoints former Etihad exec as CEO".  
  3. ^ a b c d "Press release - Air Seychelles posts third consecutive year of net profitability". 12 March 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Offices & GSAs head Office." Air Seychelles. Retrieved on 29 January 2011 "Head Office Air Seychelles Ltd Head Office International Airport P.O.Box 386 Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles."
  5. ^ a b "June 1989 news". Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ "2001 news". Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  9. ^ "Air Seychelles to Leverage Etihad Airways Partnership in its Two Year Business Plan". 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  10. ^ "'"Seychelles to beef up public enterprise monitoring - IMF highlights 'weak operating results. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "Air Seychelles profits from successful expansion strategy". 10 April 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "Air Seychelles profits from successful expansion strategy". 10 April 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "Press release - Air Seychelles posts second consecutive year of net profitability". 10 April 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Our Fleet". Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "Air Seychelles posts 6.6% rise in net profit". 12 March 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Press Releases from". Air Seychelles. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  17. ^ "Air Seychelles inks pact - Yahoo! News Maktoob". 2013-02-16. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  18. ^ Paylor, Anne (6 August 2014). "Air Seychelles to codeshare with Alitalia via Abu Dhabi". Air Transport World. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "Air seychelles and hong kong airlines sign codeshare agreement". Air Seychelles. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  20. ^ "Jet Airways signs code-share deal with Air Seychelles". Press Trust of India. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  21. ^ Location Settings (2013-04-25). "SAA and Air Seychelles sign codeshare". News24. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  22. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  23. ^ "Our Fleet". Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  24. ^ "Air Seychelles celebrates arrival of new Airbus A320". .com.airseychelleswww. 2014-11-30. 
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Encyclopedia of African airlines - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  28. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  29. ^ "Seychelles Annual Report 2007-2008". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  30. ^ "Air Seychelles Business Class". Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  31. ^ "Air Seychelles Economy Class". Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  32. ^ "Aviation & Allied Business Journal - Air Seychelles, Air France Renew Agreement To Boost Tourism In Seychelles". 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  33. ^ "Breaking News – Air Seychelles gets UK MoD contract for Falklands renewed | Wolfganghthome's Blog". 2011-02-10. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  34. ^ "Falklands Air Bridge". 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 

External links

  • Official website
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