Official opening of ‘Routes Africa’ 2012-‘Seychelles to continue welcoming new airlines’


Minister Morgan addressing guests and delegates at the opening of the Routes Africa 2012 yesterday afternoon

With new facilities being built in a major development project at the Seychelles International airport, Seychelles will by 2019 be able to accommodate up to two million passengers per year.

This was said by the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan in his keynote speech at the opening of Routes Africa 2012 yesterday afternoon.

Minister Morgan was addressing the 7th edition of Africa’s biggest air transport networking event at the Kempinski Resort.

This high-level conference has brought together almost 300 delegates from airlines, tourism boards and aviation associations from across Africa, the Middle East and beyond. 

Also present at the launch were the President for La Reunion region Didier Robert, Seychelles’ Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange, Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Paul Adam, Minister for Tourism of South South Africa Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, and the chief executive of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority Gilbert Faure.

Speaking on the strategic location of Seychelles, Minister Morgan said the geographically isolated islands have today become not only accessible, but open to the whole world.

“We have at present more flights than ever before, by more airlines, operating to the Seychelles international airport,” he said.

A partial view of guests and delegates at yesterday's opening ceremony

“This comes as a result of a fast-evolving air transport policy supported by a robust tourism marketing mechanism, which has made our country today stand out above the rest, as we implement modern solutions to the global challenges affecting our industry the world over.”

Minister Morgan spoke about the difficulties the national carrier Air Seychelles has had to face by emerging global challenges, and also financial strategic decisions made to ensure that the airline continues to fly the Creole spirit in spite of continued adverse economic conditions overseas.

“We have mutual concerns for all airlines serving Seychelles, as trusted partners in preserving sustainable air services and tourism flow to our island destination,” he said.

“It is for this reason that we have adopted a more liberal approach in recent years compared to the past. While direct flights remain high on our agenda in terms of ensuring flawless accessibility for certain clients, in practical terms the connectivity through other major hubs in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe is clearly emerging as a highly effective and viable model for Seychelles’ high growth markets.”

Details on infrastructural development were also given, including the development of our entry point to be able to accommodate more business, especially during the peak periods, while ensuring guests experience the comfort and opulence of our hospitality.

The two-day event will have a variety of discussions on topics such as competition, environment taxes, safety concerns, airspace modernisation, aircraft funding, market diversification and other key issues.

Minister Morgan expressed his wish for all those taking part to grasp lessons learnt and know about best practices that can move routes development in Africa to the next level.

A welcome reception was expected to be hosted late afternoon for the delegates.