Aviation: British Airways is back with non-stop direct flights to Seychelles
Seychelles has welcomed back British Airways with its direct non-stop flight from the UK. Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne and British High Commissioner H.E. Carol Rohsler were joined by Capt David Savy of SCAA, Gilbert Faure the CEO of the SCAA, Garry Albert PS for Transport, Anne Lafortune PS for Tourism and Sherin Francis, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board at the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially welcome British Airways back to Seychelles.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner touched down at around 6.10am with 214 excited passengers on board.
This latest air service connection is a great plus for Seychelles and for its tourism industry. Seychelles lost British Airways many years ago and, with it, the island’s direct flight to London. Tourism rates from UK suffered as a result for years to follow. British Airways’ renewed flights should help to consolidate this key source market once again.
The British High Commissioner to Seychelles, H. E. Carol Rohsler, posted the following comments soon after the arrival of the first BA flight on 25th March, “Bright and early this morning, welcoming BA back to Seychelles after a too-long absence. And the occasion was used to announce they will fly year-round! More to follow. Now taking advantage of the early start and amazing weather… going for a dive”.
The inaugural flight also carried the Airline’s Vice President for Sales, Richard Tams, as well as journalists from a number of reputed British newspapers: The Times LUXX, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Town and Country Magazine, The Sun, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Express.
Minister Loustau-Lalanne described the return of British airways to Seychelles as an exciting day, as many people had dreamed of the return of the red-tailed speed bird to our shores. “The return of BA after 14 long years of absence is a very significant development. It confirms your trust and confidence in our tourism industry. It is the best news for the Seychelles tourism industry for both its short term and long term viability,” the Minister said.
The history of British Airways in Seychelles dates back to 1971 when the first BOAC flight landed with 110 passengers onboard. Back then, the airline had to stop in Nairobi before coming to Seychelles. BA, which stopped flying to the island nation in June 2004 is now back with direct non-stop flights.
The Airline, belonging to the International Airlines Group (IAG), will offer twice-weekly flights to Seychelles departing London Heathrow’s Terminal 5. Minister Loustau-Lalanne noted that the non-stop services from Heathrow Terminal 5 will also provide a boost to other emerging markets, namely Canada and the USA.
For his part, BA’s Vice President for Sales, Richard Tams, used his address to reveal that instead of previously announced seasonal flights, the Airline will now be offering a year-round service to Seychelles. He stated BA’s confidence that the Airline will enjoy a long and prosperous relationship with Seychelles as it starts on the exciting journey of bringing holiday makers to this picture-perfect holiday destination. “We have already seen that tourism to the Seychelles grew by 15 percent last year, so we are sure that this new direct route between the Seychelles and UK will prove to be a great success,” said Mr Tams.
As she welcomed British Airways, the British High Commissioner said that being conscious of the environmental impact tourists can have on island destinations, the UK government will be adding new advice about sustainable tourism on its webpages. “This will include tips on how visitors can help preserve the ocean and island habitats so that future generations can enjoy them,” she said.