Seychelles International Airport

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Seychelles International Airport

Aéroport de la Pointe Larue
Mahe International Airport.jpg
Airport typePublic / Military
OperatorSeychelles Civil Aviation Authority
ServesVictoria, Seychelles
Hub forAir Seychelles
Elevation AMSL10 ft / 3 m
Coordinates04°40′28″S 55°31′19″E / 4.67444°S 55.52194°E / -4.67444; 55.52194Coordinates: 04°40′28″S 55°31′19″E / 4.67444°S 55.52194°E / -4.67444; 55.52194
WebsiteOfficial website
SEZ is located in Seychelles
Location of airport in Seychelles
Direction Length Surface
m ft
13/31 2,997 9,833 Concrete
Statistics (2013)
Cargo (metric tonnes)8,124
Sources: WAD[1] Google Maps[2] National Bureau of Statistics[3]

Seychelles International Airport (IATA: SEZ, ICAO: FSIA), or Aéroport de la Pointe Larue in French, is the international airport of the Seychelles located on the island of Mahé near the capital city of Victoria. The airport is the home base and the head office of Air Seychelles[4] and features several regional and long-haul routes due to its importance as an international leisure destination.

The airport is 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) southeast of the capital and is accessible by the Victoria-Providence Highway. It forms part of the administrative districts of La Pointe Larue (terminal area), Cascade/Providence (in the North), and Anse aux Pins (in the south and military base).

The Seychelles non-directional beacon (Ident: SEY) is located 6.2 nautical miles (11.5 km) off the approach end of Runway 13. The Seychelles VOR-DME (Ident: SEY) is located on the field.[5][6]


The domestic terminal is a short distance north of the international terminal and offers inter-island flights with a peak of a departure every 10–15 minutes at busy times which corresponds with international arrivals/departures and every 30 minutes at other times.[citation needed] A cargo terminal is south of the international terminal and handles freight from all international and domestic movements; it is run by Air Seychelles.

A base of the Seychelles Public Defence Force (SPDF) is at the southeastern end of Runway 13 on an island that was joined with Mahé at the construction of the airport.


Early years[edit]

The opening of the Seychelles International Airport took place on 20 March 1972 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Wilkenair of Kenya had, however, already started a ferry service between Mombasa and Mahé via Diego Suarez in Madagascar and Astove Island (Seychelles) using a twin engine Piper Navajo the previous year.[citation needed] It operated to the Seychelles once a week. The first pilot to land at Seychelles airport was Tony Bentley-Buckle, who flew his private plane from Mombasa to Mahe via Moroni in March 1971 even before the airfield was complete.[7] The flying time was 9 hours 35 minutes.

This was followed by East African Airways in November 1971 and Luxair in December of the same year. A BOAC Super VC10 was the first jet aircraft to land at Seychelles International Airport on 4 July 1971.[citation needed] At the time of the opening it had a 2987 m runway and a control tower. Ground handling and all other airport operations were carried out by the DCA (Directorate of Civil Aviation).

In 1972 John Faulkner Taylor and Tony Bentley-Buckle founded the first local aircraft company Air Mahé, which operated a Piper PA-34 Seneca between Praslin, Fregate, and Mahé Islands. This aircraft was later replaced by a Britten-Norman Islander. By 1974, over 30 airlines were flying to the Seychelles. Ground handling and all airport operations were being carried out by Aviation Seychelles Company, a company formed in 1973.[citation needed]

Construction works for the substantial expansion of the airport started in July 1980[citation needed] Due to the continuous increase in passenger traffic, a terminal building was built that could cater for 400 more arriving and 400 more departing passengers at any time. Parking bays for up to six large aircraft were built and a parking area for five light aircraft.

In 1981, there was a gun battle at Seychelles International Airport, as British national Mike Hoare led a team of 43 South African mercenaries masquerading as holidaying rugby players in a coup attempt in what is known as the Seychelles affair. After their hidden weapons were discovered on arrival a skirmish ensued, with most of the mercenaries later escaping in a hijacked Air India jet.[8]

Development since the 2000s[edit]

Apron view

The years 2005/2006 brought further development of civil aviation in the Seychelles. The Civil Aviation Authority Act was enacted on 4 April 2006 for the corporatisation of the Directorate of Civil Aviation to Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority. Works started to upgrade and extend the terminal building, which has been further extended to handle at least five medium to large jet aircraft (e.g., Boeing 767 or Airbus A330) as well as six smaller jet aircraft (e.g. Boeing 737 or Airbus A320).

Additional parking areas were made available to the north-east of the airport to handle the parking of charter, business, and long stay aircraft (e.g. some European flights arrive in the morning starting at 7 a.m. but do not depart until 10 p.m. onwards).[citation needed] This reduces jet-lag as any flight that leaves Seychelles at night will get to most Western European cities in the early morning and vice versa from the European cities to the Seychelles; it also provides sufficient rest for operating crews.

The airport has been home to unmanned aerial vehicles operated by the United States Air Force and possibly the Central Intelligence Agency for operations over Somalia and the Horn of Africa. President of Seychelles James Michel apparently welcomed the presence of U.S. drones in Seychelles to combat Somalian piracy and terrorism, dating back to at least August 2009.[9] At least two MQ-9 Reaper UAVs have crashed into the Indian Ocean near the airport since December 2011.[10][11][12]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Newly registered Air Seychelles aircraft (Airbus A330) 'Aldabra' arrived at Seychelles International Airport in October 2015.
Aerial view in 2005
Air Austral Saint–Denis de la Réunion
Air France Seasonal: Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air Mauritius Mauritius
Air Seychelles Johannesburg–O. R. Tambo, Mauritius, Mumbai, Praslin Island, Tel Aviv[13][14]
Seasonal: Antananarivo
Charter: Alphonse Island, Bird Island, D'Arros Island, Denis Island, Desroches Island, Frégate Island
British Airways London–Heathrow
Condor Frankfurt
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zürich
Emirates Dubai–International
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
Kenya Airways Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta
Qatar Airways Doha
SriLankan Airlines Colombo–Bandaranaike
Turkish Airlines Istanbul


Year Passengers Change Cargo
Change Aircraft
2014[3] 736,558 Increase 1% 8,124 Increase4% 4,774 Decrease6%
2013[15] 726,524 Increase 17% 7,807 Increase32% 5,080 Increase5%
2012[16] 623,017 Decrease8% 5,943 Decrease38% 4,843 Increase8%
2011[17] 674,306 Increase9% 9,613 Increase4% 4,479 Decrease0%
2010[18] 618,675 Increase12% 9,242 Increase18% 4,480 Increase19%
2009[19] 554,408 Decrease12% 7,829 Decrease12% 3,751 Decrease2%
2008[20] 628,504 Decrease9% 8,880 Increase7% 3,832 Increase8%
2007[3][21] 690,661 Increase12% 8,300 Increase21% 3,532 Increase11%
2006 617,348 Increase10% 6,883 Increase12% 3,194 Decrease7%
2005 562,221 Increase1% 6,165 Increase37% 3,446 Increase4%
2004 554,760 Decrease3% 4,515 Decrease13% 3,327 Increase4%
2003 572,512 0% 5,177 0% 3,204 0%

Ground transport[edit]

There is frequent service to the bus station in Victoria, with taxi ranks outside the terminal available to all locations on Mahé Island. Several tour operators' coach services also link passengers to the ferry terminal at the Old Port (Vieux port) for inter-island ferry services and to the New Port (Nouveau port) for cruise holidays.

There are plans to link the airport with a light railway/tram system that will run along the east coast of Mahé island due to the high transportation density of this area. Companies were invited to tender by the government in 2007.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "WorldAeroData – FSIA". Archived from the original on 1 December 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Google Maps – Seychelles International Airport". Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Seychelles in Figures – 2015" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 August 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Offices & GSAs head Office Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Air Seychelles. Retrieved on 29 January 2011 "Head Office Air Seychelles Ltd Head Office International Airport P.O. Box 386 Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles."
  5. ^ "Seychelles NDB". Archived from the original on 26 January 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Seychelles VOR". Archived from the original on 26 January 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  7. ^ A. Bentley-Buckle Volume 2 of The British Navy at War and Peace. Whittles Publishing Ltd, U.K. - 2013
  8. ^ Seychelles: Life's a breeze near the equator Archived 4 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine The Telegraph, U.K.
  9. ^ Zenko, Micah (27 March 2012). "We Can't Drone Our Way to Victory in Afghanistan". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014.
  10. ^ Thande, George (4 April 2012). "Drone crashes in Seychelles, second in four months". Reuters. Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  11. ^ "US Drone Crashes on Seychelles Runway". ABC News. 4 April 2012. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  12. ^ "Secret bases mark step-up in War on Terror". UPI. 22 September 2011. Archived from the original on 1 February 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  13. ^ "Air Seychelles to launch weekly direct flights to Tel Aviv in November 2019". Air Seychelles. 9 July 2019. Archived from the original on 10 July 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  14. ^ EPSTEIN, SONIA (9 July 2019). "Air Seychelles to link Israel with Indian Ocean islands by November - Israel News - Jerusalem Post". Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 10 July 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Seychelles in Figures 2012–2013" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  16. ^ "" 2012" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  17. ^ " 2011 Archived 9 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "" 2010" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  19. ^ "" 2009" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 November 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  20. ^ "" 2008" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 November 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  21. ^ "" 2007" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 November 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010.

External links[edit]

Media related to Seychelles International Airport at Wikimedia Commons