ABU DHABI // Air Seychelles, part-owned by Etihad Airways, will add capacity to Europe and South Africa next year as it works to bring more tourists to the Indian Ocean archipelago.
From March, the airline plans to operate a second Airbus A330, which will fly non-stop to Düsseldorf and Durban, as well as add flights to its key Paris destination.
“The government of Seychelles and Etihad Airways fully support the airline’s plan to develop its European network by establishing a non-stop connection to Germany, a strategically important market, which is currently the second-largest source of inbound tourism after France,” Roy Kinnear, chief executive of Air Seychelles, said in a statement on Friday:
He added that 29,200 people have visited the Seychelles from Germany so far this year, an increase of nine per cent over 2015.
The airline, in which Etihad acquired a 40-per-cent stake in 2012, flew 522,873 passengers last year, a 22-per-cent increase on 2014.
On Friday, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) reported that global passenger demand in September grew seven per cent compared to a year earlier, the strongest increase in seven months.
“This rebound from August weakness suggests that travel demand is showing its resilience in the aftermath of terror attacks,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s chief executive.
Middle East carriers registered an 11.5 per cent increase in demand in September compared to a year ago, which was the largest globally, Iata said.