Etihad’s partnership to benefit Seychelles


27-January-2012

The minister responsible for transport, Joel Morgan, said this at a press conference on Wednesday after announcing the new agreement between the two airlines, whereby Etihad will acquire 40% stake in our national airline while the Seychelles Government will own 60%.

Mr Morgan said Etihad will be able to use Seychelles as a hub for the region – the western Indian Ocean – and we will be able to use Abu Dhabi as a hub for the rest of the world.

“Air Seychelles will also be able to restart its international flights, especially to China, which is a new and emerging market, as well as to other destinations in Europe in the near future.”

He added that under the partnership, the airlines will sign a comprehensive code share agreement to include Etihad Airways’ marketed flights across Air Seychelles’ network and Air Seychelles’ marketed flights to Abu Dhabi and Etihad Airways destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

“Etihad Airways will develop a strategic management and development plan for Air Seychelles through the new management that they will put in place,” he added.

Etihad will appoint a chief executive and a chief financial officer to manage Air Seychelles under a management contract starting February 1 this year.

“This plan will help us consolidate our operation in a more cost effective way by using Etihad’s capacity and competency in its international group,” Mr Morgan said.

“For example, revenue management, network planning, fleet development and planning, legal, insurance and financial all will be consolidated in Abu Dhabi.”

“Our professionals will have the opportunity to join the Etihad group and get the chance not only to work with Air Seychelles but with the Etihad group comprising Air Berlin.

Mr Morgan said in the coming month, Air Seychelles Ltd will acquire airbus planes which include an A320 for regional routes and two A330 for international routes. 

He said the Seychelles Government already budgeted R156 million for the first three months this year as financial support under the development grant for Air Seychelles. And in the middle of the year, it will put another R140 million in terms of capitalisation.

According to a joint press release from both airlines, Etihad Airways will seek to increase frequency of flights between Abu Dhabi and Mahé from four per week to daily as well as providing new services to the islands.

“Etihad Airways will work in conjunction with Air Seychelles to develop a renewed fleet and network growth plan for the island-based carrier,” said the press release.

Etihad Guests and Seychelles Bonus, the airlines’ frequent flyer programmes, will be integrated to include mileage earning and redemption on each other’s flights.

The agreement is Etihad Airways’ second equity investment, following its December 2011 announcement that it would increase its stake in Air Berlin to 29.21%, making it the biggest shareholder in Europe’s sixth largest airline.


 

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