Remco Althuis, Chief Executive Officer, Air Seychelles, reveals that the twice-weekly commercial flight to Seychelles starting April 8 is a step to attracting the lucrative Indian source market to visit the archipelago. The airline is keen on leaving no stone unturned to persuade Indians to visit.
Air Seychelles is all set to resume its commercial flight between Mumbai and Seychelles starting April 8, 2021, in line with the air bubble agreement with India. The twice-weekly flight schedule has been charted out in a bid to offer both business and leisure travellers the chance to book a short or extended holiday in the country. Remco Althuis, CEO, Air Seychelles, says that it is the right time to launch these flights since Seychelles has reopened its borders to welcome visitors regardless of their vaccination status.
“Seychelles, with a relatively small population and vaccination level high enough for the country, will be protected. This means that now everybody can come with no quarantine upon arrival and no restrictions on movement. Hence, Seychelles is now more accessible. Also, Seychelles maintains an air bubble agreement with India, allowing the two countries to operate commercial services and therefore, Air Seychelles could re-launch its service into the important Indian market in April,” he shares.
Althuis adds that they are exploring more routes based on demand and if business is feasible, they would seek the regulatory governmental approval to operate on these routes. “We are very optimistic about the Indian market, especially after seeing so many Indian visitors to Maldives, which is a lot more than normal since there is a lack of destinations. Hence, we also want to use this opportunity to get more Indians to see Seychelles and hopefully, in the future, it would lead to an increase in visitor numbers,” he says, adding that while they are currently not flying to South Africa, once it reopens, there will also be a lot of Indian guests who will find their way via Seychelles to get to South Africa.
To extend their reach in the market, they have worked closely with the Seychelles Tourism Board on various awareness activities.
“We are working with partners on organising media Fam trips, social media engagements with influencers, etc. Historically, Seychelles has been a very important market for weddings and also for honeymoons; that clearly changed with the pandemic. However, we know that in the future, demand will be there. Hence, we will do different activities to increase visibility for the airline and the destination. We have also appointed Bird Travels as our GSA in India and through them, using technology like Zoom, we look at sales trainings, sales meetings and destination trainings to strengthen our engagement with the trade,” Althuis concludes.