(eTN) – The already existing codeshare arrangement Air Seychelles has with Air Berlin, allows both airlines to put their code on the respective routes from Germany and beyond, to Mahe via Abu Dhabi, and it has now been strengthened further, as Air Berlin can now reach the archipelago’s second largest island, Praslin, through Air Seychelles’ domestic flight services.
Air Seychelles’ partnership with Etihad, Abu Dhabi’s national airline, has been paying off in many ways, profitability included, and allowed the Seychelles’ national airline to tap into markets and locations previously unimaginable for a small Indian Ocean airline.
The aircraft used on the route, which has as many as 20 flights operated throughout the day, is a De Havilland Twin Otter of which the airline operates two for scheduled flights to Praslin and charters to other islands.
In turn, Air Seychelles has now been able to put their code on flights operated by Air Berlin to Stockholm and Copenhagen, widening the reach to Denmark and Sweden where the archipelago has found growing popularity among travelers.
Cramer Ball, Air Seychelles’ CEO, in a media release sent to this correspondent overnight, was quoted as having said on the occasion of signing the expanded codeshare agreement: “Our codeshare partnership with Air Berlin has been a commercial success, with a record surge in arrivals from Germany contributing to our bottom line. With the addition of Stockholm and Copenhagen, we will bolster our position in Scandinavia, one of the fastest-growing source markets to Seychelles, and we are confident we will be able to leverage our presence to drive more high-income traffic to our archipelago.”
Tourism sources on Mahe have warmly welcomed this latest advance in cooperation between Etihad’s partner airlines, which has opened up access to markets with strong growth and yet greater potential. “The resorts in Praslin will be very pleased to see that Air Berlin can now ticket passengers from Scandinavia and Germany straight through to Praslin. Guests will clear their customs and immigration at the international airport and then check in at the domestic terminal a few steps away from the arrival hall for their final flight to Praslin. Even La Digue will benefit from that, because tourists can now fly to Praslin and then take the short 20-minute ferry ride across to La Digue.
“These days, Air Seychelles has more answers than questions being asked of them, unlike when Etihad first came on board. Back then some individuals reacted badly to questions, thinking it was hostility, but, in fact, the sentiments back then were justified and only needed engaging with key stakeholders. I think they have understood those early sentiments and with time found the right way to partner with the tourism sector.
“This new partnership is bearing fruits. Our national airline has survived those very difficult years and can start to look at new African mainland destination and strengthen flights to South Africa and Mauritius,” commented a regular source from Mahe, when discussing these latest developments on email.