Seychelles has welcomed the recent announcement of Aeroflot’s launch of flights from Moscow to Mahe, after the western Indian Ocean country reported the re-opening of its borders on March 25, 2021.
This route was previously served from 1993 to October 2003 and linked the island destination to Russia’s capital city. Now, as from April 2, Aeroflot is returning with an Airbus 330 (300 series) once per week, on Fridays.
The flight from Moscow to Seychelles will take 8 hours 35 minutes and touch down at the Seychelles International Airport at 9:55 am, whereas the return leg will depart at 11:05 pm and last 8 hours 50 minutes.
Speaking from the island’s capital, Sherin Francis, Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, said she was delighted with the airline’s return to the Seychelles’ shores.
“We are delighted to hear that Aeroflot is coming back to our islands as part of its resumption of long-haul flights. These flights will definitely offer more choices for the Russian travelers in terms of holiday destinations to visit as international travel gradually recover, but most importantly for us, it will help to re-instate reliable and direct connection between the two countries,” she said.
“It’s high time and we can’t wait to welcome back our Russian visitors, as Russia is one of our top markets and which grows steadily every year.”
Mrs. Francis added that she expected the Russian Tour Operators to now offer some attractive packages to Seychelles to help stimulate travel back to the islands.
Aeroflot, the only airline to fly directly from Russia to Seychelles, will no doubt face competition from the Middle Eastern carriers, notably Emirates and Qatar who have both already resumed flights to Seychelles and very likely to be increasing the frequency.
The two airlines have been filling the gap for many years and providing good connections between the two points, in the absence of a direct flight.
Currently, Seychelles is opened to 43 countries only, but as of March 25, both vaccinated and non-vaccinated tourists from all countries, will be allowed entry. The only exception is South Africa which is for the time being not permitted.
Tourists will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no earlier than 72 hours before departure from the first point of travel. No quarantine will be imposed upon arrival.
Regular measures like wearing a mark, sanitizing and social distancing are expected to be followed at all times.
Aeroflot is amongst the longest serving airlines in the world and has been showing interest to return to Seychelles since last year, as demand for traveling to the Indian Ocean islands increases.
Several international airlines have either already resumed flights to Seychelles whilst others have planned start dates in the coming months.
Out of Europe, Edelweiss and Frankfurt-based Condor have confirmed their operations for April and October, respectively.
Air France is looking into re-starting flights to Seychelles in June while Turkish Airline is eyeing a mid-April comeback.
Israel international carriers ARKIA and EL AL which flew a significant number of visitors to the archipelago late last year, have both confirmed that they are coming back with more chartered flights between March-April.
From the region, Air Mauritius plans on flying back to Seychelles on a charter basis towards end June.
The country’s national airline, Air Seychelles, is ready to resume flights to Johannesburg and Tel Aviv as from this month and possibly to Maldives in July. The airline has also started to promote season flights to Dubai from March 26 to May 29, 2021 and is expected to resume its scheduled flight to Mumbai on April 9.