|Hubs||Seychelles International Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Etihad Guest|
|Airport lounge||Salon de Vallee de Mai (SEZ)|
|Parent company||Government of Seychelles (60%), Etihad Airways (40%)|
|Headquarters||Seychelles International Airport
|Revenue||US$ 106.9 million (2014)|
|Profit||US$ 3.2 million (2014)|
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. It operates inter-island services and international flights. Its main base is Seychelles International Airport. The airline is currently 40% owned by Etihad Airways.
- 1 History
- 2 Corporate affairs
- 3 Destinations
- 4 Fleet
- 5 Services
- 6 References
- 7 External links
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
On 27 June 1989, Air Seychelles received its first Boeing 767 (Registration S7-AAS), a new Boeing 767-200ER, 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 and covered a great circle distance of 14,311 km (8,893 miles). This record was broken nearly a year later by the same type of aircraft on 10 June 1990. 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.
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.
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." 
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 $45m. The current shareholders are:
|Government of Seychelles||60%|
|Etihad Airways PJSC||40%|
The key trends for Air Seychelles over recent years are shown below (as at year ending 31 December):
|Net Profits (US$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|
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.
Currently, Air Seychelles has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:
- Air Berlin
- Air France
- Etihad Airways
- Hong Kong Airlines
- Jet Airways
- South African Airways
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.
The Air Seychelles fleet includes the following aircraft:
|Airbus A320-200||2||—||16||120||136||All leased from Etihad Airways|
|DHC-6 Series 300 Twin Otter||3||—||0||19||19|
|DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otter||3||1||0||19||19|
|Short 360-300 ||1||—||3,500 kg|
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.
|Airbus A300B4||1||Leased from Air France|
|Boeing 707-320||2||Leased from Varig|
|Boeing 727-200||1||Leased from Nationwide Airlines|
|Boeing 737-700NG||1||Both leased from ILFC|
|Boeing 767-200EM||1||Leased from XL Airways UK|
|Boeing 767-200ER||3||All leased from ILFC|
|Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander||2||Sold to IDC Aviation and Seychelles Coast Guard|
|McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30||2||Leased from British Caledonian and Martinair|
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.
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 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.
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.
UK Ministry of Defence
Air Seychelles announced in January 2010  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.
- "MANOJ PAPA APPOINTED CEO OF AIR SEYCHELLES". newswit.com. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- Cathy Buyck (2 February 2012). "Air Seychelles appoints former Etihad exec as CEO". Air Transport World. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- "Press release - Air Seychelles posts third consecutive year of net profitability". 12 March 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- "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."
- "June 1989 news". Airseychelles.com. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- "2001 news". Airseychelles.com. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
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- "Air Seychelles inks pact - Yahoo! News Maktoob". En-maktoob.news.yahoo.com. 2013-02-16. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
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- "Our History". Airseychelles.com. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
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- Encyclopedia of African airlines - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- "Our History". Airseychelles.com. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- "Seychelles Annual Report 2007-2008". Docstoc.com. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- "Air Seychelles Business Class". Airseychelles.com. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Air Seychelles Economy Class". Airseychelles.com. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Aviation & Allied Business Journal - Air Seychelles, Air France Renew Agreement To Boost Tourism In Seychelles". Aviationbusinessjournal.aero. 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Breaking News – Air Seychelles gets UK MoD contract for Falklands renewed | Wolfganghthome's Blog". Wolfganghthome.wordpress.com. 2011-02-10. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
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