Hong Kong, here we come!


25-March-2013

A group of ladies dressed in flowing traditional Chinese attire were on hand to guide guests to the check-in counter and the departure lounge was serene, relaxed and friendly as traditional Chinese music played in the background. 

The 13-hour flight, which goes via Abu Dhabi to Hong Kong, is expected to land this morning in the bustling metropolis that serves as a gateway to the rest of Asia.

Seventy Seychellois representatives from government, businesses and media boarded the Airbus 330 Aldabra to experience the flight and hospitality and are expected to return on Thursday March 28.

Air Seychelles’ chief executive Cramer Ball said this was a milestone for Air Seychelles and the country as a whole.

Mr Ball

“This is an exciting day. As an airline CEO, opening up a new route is something that you aspire to. Seventy ambassadors from Seychelles are going to Hong Kong to wave the flag, to sell this amazing destination that is Seychelles.”

“I’m extremely proud to say that our Hong Kong route will be a success and we look forward to welcoming all visitors from Hong Kong and the surrounding areas.”

Chinese ambassador Shi Zhonjun said that this was a historic moment for Air Seychelles. The ambassador said he had witnessed the national carrier go from crisis to recovery and said that he believed that now it would go from recovery on to new heights.

Mr Shi

“Seychelles, as an island paradise, is getting more and more widely recognised by the Chinese,” said Mr Shi. “More and more Chinese visitors are coming to Seychelles for business, vacation or honeymoon, and I would like to assure Seychelles that the Chinese government and the Chinese embassy will, as always, give their full support to the efforts of Air Seychelles.”

Minister for Home Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan, who is also the chairman of Air Seychelles, said: “This is a moment when we in Seychelles, once again through our determination and our efforts, have managed to achieve something which not many other countries of our size can do.”

Minister Morgan addressing guests at the ceremony yesterday at the airport

Minister Morgan said that the airline had made “tremendous strides” in the space of a year in the face of its recent financial problems and the tough global economic market for airlines.

“The airline is here to serve Seychelles, to serve the best interests of our tourism sector. The airline is here to bring businesses, as well as tourism to Seychelles,” he said. “The local industries, who are our key partners, and without whom we cannot be successful have come on board. The Chinese market represents a very big opportunity for Seychelles and I am glad to see that many of the hotels on Mahe and Praslin are gearing up to receive guests from China.”

“We are going to Hong Kong, and we will keep on going to Hong Kong and to other parts of China and Asia.”

Visitors boarding the aircraft yesterday as Air Seychelles marked its inaugural flight to Hong Kong

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