Air Mauritius resumes flights to Seychelles | 03 July 2019
Yesterday morning Seychelles welcomed its neighbouring State’s national airline, Air Mauritius (MK) for the start of a twice-weekly flight between the two friendly countries.
The airline which is based at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in the Mauritian capital Port-Louis, landed at Seychelles International Airport at 11:10hrs where it was welcomed by the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine Didier Dogley.
The MK A319-100 flight was greeted by the customary water canon salute while the passengers enjoyed a red carpet arrival with greeters dressed in traditional attire, dancing and singing to typical Seychellois music.
In a brief ceremony to mark the arrival 14 years after Air Mauritius ceased operations in Seychelles, Minister Dogley spoke of the relationship spanning back decades between Seychelles and Mauritius.
“Air Mauritius’ presence on the Seychelles route is set to yield many more benefits for the two countries. For us this has a special significance as it is taking place at a time when Air Seychelles expands its services to Madagascar and the year that Seychelles holds the presidency of the Vanilla islands. We are one-step forwards in consolidating the vanilla island concept of connecting our islands by one flight per day,” Minister Dogley stated.
Among the dignitaries present were the Air Mauritius senior manager sales and strategic cooperation, Ben Balasoupramanien; principal secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Alain Renaud; and the principal secretary for tourism, Anne Lafortune.
The chairman of the board of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA), Captain David Savy, and the authority’s chief executive, Garry Albert, were also present.
Mr Balasoupramanien stated that Air Mauritius is here to stay and that the organisation’s vision is to develop the regional market and offer passengers options to travel from and to Seychelles from and to different destinations and routes on which Air Mauritius operates.
“For the time being we have scheduled two flights per week but depending on the demand, we have bigger aircraft in our fleet so if the need arises we can start operating bigger flights,” Mr Balasoupramanien stated.
In regards to pricing and if Air Mauritius will be disadvantaged by Air Seychelles’ recently announced price-cuts on the Mauritius route on the days when Air Mauritius operates, Mr Balasoupramanien asserted that Air Mauritius welcomes competition.
“With competition, it is the passengers that benefit. We also have to consider our operating costs so there is a limit as to the minimum charge but our traffic is not only limited to Mauritius and Seychelles. There is also a possibility of working together in future,” he stated.
Mr Balasoupramanien also revealed that as of today (July 3) there will be a promotion on Air Mauritius flights to Mauritius with fares not exceeding R6000 for a limited time.
Over the years, Air Seychelles and Air Mauritius have partnered through a commercial arrangement on this route. It was early this year that MK informed of its intention to resume scheduled flights to Seychelles. However, since 2014 the airline has expressed its desire to conduct flights on the route.
Only 1,758 km away, Mauritius is among the most preferred destinations for Seychellois travellers. The locals take advantage of the education opportunities and shopping on this island. They also go there for medical visits and treatments, business as well as for touristic experience. Additional flights on this route will provide more seating capacity, and cargo space, ideal not only for tourism, but also for trade.
As scheduled, Air Mauritius left Seychelles at noon yesterday. It is to return on Friday leaving Mauritius at 22:30hrs and land in Seychelles in the early hours of Saturday at 01:10hrs. It will depart thereafter at 02:20hrs.
The Mauritian based airline also flies to over 10 destinations around the world including France, United Kingdom, Reunion, South Africa, India, China and Australia.
The launch of the MK on the Seychelles route would bring the total number of airlines flying to Seychelles to 15. This includes our national airline operating its scheduled services to and from Mauritius on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; leaving the Seychelles at 10:30hrs and returning at 18:55hrs.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the ceremony yesterday at the airport to welcome the Air Mauritius flight.