Published March 30, 2013
Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, commenced services to Hong Kong on March 25, 2013.
Air Seychelles -Â flight HM86 departed Mahe International Airport at 3:40 pm Seychelles time on March 25 and touched down at Hong Kong International Airport at 8:40 am on March 26 after a brief transit stop at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The brightly-colored Air Seychelles’ Airbus A330-200 aircraft was bid a farewell at Mahe International Airport by a traditional Chinese Lion Dance and welcomed on arrival at Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong by water cannon salutes.
This inaugural flight was the first of three-weekly services between the Seychelles and Hong Kong, operated with equity and codeshare partner, Etihad Airways.
On board the flight was a delegation of senior government officials from the Republic of the Seychelles, the People’s Republic of China, and senior executives from both airlines.
Cramer Ball, Air Seychelles Chief Executive Officer, said, “The launch of services to Hong Kong is a momentous occasion for Air Seychelles, capping a remarkable year in which we returned to profitability. Through our partnership with Etihad Airways we have been able to transform our business and make improvements that we could not have achieved independently. We have responded to demand from our affluent leisure and tourism guests, and introduced a new international in-flight product with fully-flat beds and restaurant-quality food and beverage service. We now offer a business class experience, which is world class, to rival any airline. With our special blend of Seychellois hospitality and unique Creole warmth, your holiday begins as soon as you step on board.”
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Guests travelling between Hong Kong and the Seychelles will remain on the same aircraft and keep the same seat for both legs of the journey, allowing a seamless journey through Abu Dhabi.
The new services offer an attractive new proposition for anyone wishing to visit the Seychelles, which in 2012 won the Island Holiday Destination of the YearÂ from the China Travel Industry Awards. The new services also offer travellers from Hong Kong and nearby southern China the added benefit of seamless onward connections at Abu Dhabi to more than 20 destinations on Etihad Airways’ Europe, Africa, the GCC, and Middle East network.
Joel Morgan, Seychelles Minister for Home Affairs and Transport and Air Seychelles’ Chairman said, “We are particularly excited about Air Seychelles’ new services as visitor arrivals from China have been doubling each year for the past 3 years, and 2013 is on track to continue the trend. We worked hard to make sure the necessary air service agreements were in place to support Air Seychelles’ expansion plans and cater for the growing demand from Asia. The agreements include the flexibility for codeshare agreements with other airlines. In the past 2 years, we have modernized our bilaterals with China and Singapore, and concluded new ones with Hong Kong and South Korea. We will add more in 2013. Air Seychelles’ new services to Hong Kong will have a substantive economic impact for Seychelles. As one of the world’s leading financial and commercial hubs, we expect to see not only a boost in visitor arrivals from Hong Kong, but also an expansion in trade and commercial activity.”
Ball thanked the Seychelles government and Civil Aviation Authority and the Hong Kong government and its Civil Aviation Authority for their support to enable the commencement of services to Hong Kong.
Air Seychelles flight HM86 operates on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, departing from Seychelles at 3:40 pm, and arriving in
Hong Kong the next morning at 9:40. On the return, flight HM 087 departs Hong Kong at 6:55 pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, arriving in Seychelles at 6:35 am. All times are local.
The Air Seychelles’ Airbus A330-200 can carry 254 passengers with 18 seats in business class and 236 in economy class.