Seychelles Airlines to be airborne by last quarter of 2018 | 29 November 2017
Seychelles Airlines, a local private airline company, has said it is expected to start its operations by the end of 2018.
This announcement was made by Captain Robert Marie, consultant of the company and also a pilot.
The airline will start with two Boeing 767 which caters for 213 passengers and will employ both Seychellois and foreigners.
The company is being financed by businessmen here in Seychelles, notably Ahmed Afif and Philippe Boulle.
Giving more details on the airline’s strategy with regard to stiff competitions from other airlines serving Seychelles, Captain Marie said Seychelles Airlines is based here in Seychelles and therefore there is a difference.
“The other airlines are coming here from over there. We are leaving here to go over there. So what we need to do is find out how to fill up the plane when we reach that destination. This is the strategy we need to work on. The airline industry was easier before than now. It is a fact that it is more difficult now. But we have seen great improvement in that area and the business is moving in the right direction that we would have wished for,” said Captain Marie.
He said if everything goes as planned, they will be in the air in the last quarter of 2018 and is certain the Seychellois people will be happy to see this being realised.
Another important aspect in their strategy is about choosing which route to serve. At first they had plans to fly to European countries like France, Germany and Italy.
“If these routes are worth flying to what should we do to get the necessary load to make us profitable? But we have routes that have already been confirmed which we have considered worthwhile to serve. These include Mauritius, Singapore, Johannesburg in South Africa and Thailand. These are already on the table. And there are many Seychellois overseas who want to come to Seychelles. And we hope we can serve these countries too,” said Captain Marie, while acknowledging that the aviation business is a cruel one.
Currently Seychelles Airlines is seeking an outlet at the Seychelles International Airport for its office. Most maintenance work on the airline will be done overseas.
Captain Marie began his career in aviation with the national airline Air Seychelles as a pilot in 1997. He began flying the Twin Otter on domestic flights. After that he was promoted to pilot where he flew Boeing planes. During the restructuring exercise at Air Seychelles in 2012, Captain Marie was among other staff members who were made redundant. He then joined forces with Mr Boulle and Mr Afif where they started the move to enter the aviation business.
After registering Seychelles Airlines with the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCCA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), their first obstacle was on the announcement by the SCAA they cannot use the name ‘Seychelles Airlines’ because it resembles too much the name of the national carrier Air Seychelles. They filed a case in court to that regard in 2015 where the court ruled in their favour to maintain that name.