Air Seychelles books $2.1m profit for 2015, eyes route network expansion

Air Seychelles, part-owned by Etihad Airways, said that it aims to accelerate growth this year by continuing to expand its route network.

The Indian Ocean airline announced a net profit of US$2.1 million for 2015, its fourth consecutive year of profitabil­ity, having reported a net profit of $3.2m in 2014, $3m in 2013 and $1m in 2012, when Etihad acquired its 40 per cent stake in the carrier.

Last year, it earned revenue of $105.4m as it expanded codeshare partnerships, added new aircraft and resumed direct flights to Paris, tapping into the important French market.

About 30 per cent of total passengers came from partner airlines, generating 41 per cent of Air Seychelles’ passenger revenue, the airline said.

“The profit we have delivered in 2015 is, above all, a great sign for the future,” said Roy Kinnear, the chief executive of Air Seychelles . “We have the right foundations in place going forward.”

Since July, the airline has undertaken a number of initiatives to bring greater efficiencies to “turn it into a profitable, stable, reliable and strong airline”.

Air Seychelles carried a total of 522,873 passengers last year, reflecting a 22 per cent increase over 2014.

Its passenger carrying capa­city, measured in available seat kilometres, increased by 7 per cent to 1.7 billion by the end of 2015, it said. Seat load factor, a way to measure how an airline fills capacity, rose to 66 per cent from 60 per cent in 2014.

In 2015, Air Seychelles passenger numbers grew on the back of its network expansion via a doubling of codeshare destinationsto 61 from 30, leveraging the Etihad equity alliance which includes airberlin, Alitalia and India’s Jet Airways.

Other partners include South African Airways and Air France, Air Seychelles said.

In June 2014, Air Seychelles resumed flying directly to Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris. France is the No 1 market for tourism in the Seychelles, which contributes to more than 60 per cent of the country’s economy.

“Air Seychelles is proud to play an increasingly important part in supporting the further growth of the Seychelles economy, particularly in developing tourism and trade, while creating employment opportunities for Seychellois nationals across the broader economy,” said Mr Kinnear.

Air Seychelles carried 4,415 tonnes of freight last year, primarily on its Johannesburg and Paris routes.

Moving ahead in 2016, Mr Kinnear said that the airline will focus on increasing its route network.

“In 2016, we are committed to accelerating our growth. We will do this by continuing to grow our route network both organically and through an expansion of our codeshare partnerships. We will also continue to invest in our products and services to ensure that we provide the best possible guest experience both in the air and on the ground.”

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