Air Seychelles celebrates first flight to Hong Kong


The symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony during the brief stop in Abu Dhabi to mark Air Seychelles’ inaugural flight to Hong Kong

On board this Airbus A330-200 aircraft’s first flight from Seychelles to Hong Kong were the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan, who is also the chairperson of Air Seychelles, the Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange, the airline’s chief executive Cramer Ball, senior government officials from Seychelles and the People’s Republic of China, and a group of local journalists.

Other journalists from China, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong joined the delegation for a press conference at the Ritz Carlton Hotel just after the flight arrived in Hong Kong yesterday morning.
During the brief stop in Abu Dhabi, Air Seychelles, Etihad and Abu Dhabi representatives joined together for a symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the occasion.

The airline’s chief executive described this first flight as a momentous occasion as the aircraft received water canon salutes on its arrival – both in Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong.

The press conference at the Ritz Carlton Hotel just after the flight arrived in Hong Kong yesterday morning

“This is a great day for Seychelles, for Hong Kong and for Abu Dhabi. The start of flights to Hong Kong is a momentous occasion for Air Seychelles, capping a remarkable year in which we returned to profitability,” said Mr Ball.

Those attending the conference also had a chance to view a short video on Air Seychelles and its partnership with Etihad.
“With Air Seychelles you start living your holiday the moment you board the aircraft with the warm and unique welcome received,” said Mr Ball.

Mr Morgan, for his part, described the event as historic for Seychelles and Air Seychelles, adding that visitors from Hong Kong will be astounded by what Seychelles has to offer.
“Our people, our hotels are ready to receive and welcome you,’’ he said, calling on the press people present to make the Seychelles destination known to Hong Kong.

Minister Morgan further added that the new three-flight-a-week to Hong Kong via Abu Dhabi will be an added boost to diversifying the Seychelles tourism market.
For his part, the chief commercial officer of Etihad Airways Peter Baumgartner said the airline’s aim is to be the best and not the largest. He noted that Etihad Airways is a newcomer to Hong Kong but has been flying to mainland China since 2008.

Minister St Ange also gave an overview of the Seychelles tourism industry and was also part of the panel which answered questions posed by foreign journalists.

Seychelles Nation, represented at the event in Hong Kong by journalist Marie-Anne Lepathy (who filed this report) and photographer Joena Bonnelame (who took the accompanying photographs), will later this week bring its readers more stories and photos on the historic flight to Hong Kong.