Air Seychelles' new Airbus A320neo aircraft on Monday, 12 August, operated its first official flight between Seychelles International Airport and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. The aircraft was welcomed with the traditional water canon salute.
Addressing the guests during the welcoming ceremony held at the Terminal A Viewing Deck at OR Tambo, showcasing the aircraft in the background, CEO of Air Seychelles Remco Althuis said: “It is with great pride and joy to introduce our new Airbus A320neo aircraft to the South African market and even better to become the first air carrier to operate this type of aircraft across the Indian Ocean and Africa.
“South Africa remains a very important market for Air Seychelles and with the increased capacity of the A320neo, we are excited to grow the number of visitors on the route to further support the continued growth of tourism between Johannesburg and the Mahe hub.
“The successful introduction of our new fuel-efficient aircraft into the market would have not been possible without the close collaboration of our stakeholders and partners of which I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for your guidance and dedication for making today’s event a success for national airline of Seychelles.”
The aircraft, named ‘Veuve’ also commonly known as the Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher after a critically endangered bird unique to the Seychelles, features a total capacity of 168 seats including 12 seats in business class and 156 seats in economy class.
The single–aisle A320neo jetliner manufactured by Airbus is powered by the new-generation LEAP-1A engine from CFM International featuring large, fuel-saving wingtip devices known as Sharklets.
To further build on the strong presence established in South Africa and in support of the national airline, key representatives from the Seychelles Tourism Board office also joined the event.
Highlighting the importance of maintaining the strong relationship with trade and tourism partners in the market, deputy CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board Jenifer Sinon commented: “This new milestone for Air Seychelles is a great achievement for the destination.
“This is good news for the destination and our dedicated partners on the market. It is undeniable that Seychelles destination would gain a lot from the additional number of seats added on our market as well as for South African tourist and other potential visitors from all over the world.”