International passengers increase by 91% at Air Seychelles
AIR SEYCHELLES today reported international passenger growth of 91% to 55,238 in the third quarter (Q3 2012: 28,847), a result of the airline’s expanded international fleet and schedule in Q2. Overall passenger numbers on the airline’s combined domestic and international services grew by 42.4% to 99,946 (Q3 2012: 70,193).
Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer, Cramer Ball, said the airline was well on track for a second year of profitability. “We have seen solid performance across our entire network in Q3 with solid growth in all our key markets and a strong and accelerating contribution from our codeshare partners,” Mr Ball said. “With our continuing focus on containing costs, we are confident we will deliver a strong financial return to our shareholders and to our home economy,” Mr Ball said.
In its highest quarterly performance on the Mauritius route in three years, the airline carried 9,041 passengers, up 38.5% from a year ago (2012: 6,525). Traffic was boosted by extra flights in August in response to local demand during school holidays. Air Seychelles currently operates a two-cabin Airbus A320 aircraft on the route wet-leased from Etihad Airways, with 16 seats in Business Class and 120 seats in Economy Class.
Passengers have more than doubled on the airline’s Abu Dhabi route in Q3 to 22,694, up from 9,187 a year ago. Seat factor on the Abu Dhabi route surged 13.3% to 63.7%, despite a 67.7% increase in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs), from 89.3 million to 149.8 million.
Traffic on the airline’s services to Hong Kong saw a quarter-to-quarter increase of 21.6%, up 2,451 to 13,788 (Q2 2013: 11,337), a reflection of the increasing popularity of the connections to Seychelles and to Hong Kong offered by the airline’s schedule over the Abu Dhabi hub.
Traffic on the Johannesburg route saw 11.8% year-on-year growth with a 342% quarter-to-quarter growth in revenue contribution from South African Airways.
Cargo also performed well during Q3, with a 190% year-on-year growth in tonnage (from 561,945 to 1,631,965 tonnes).
On the airline’s domestic operations, the airline saw a 19.3% increase in the number of flights in Q3 to points in the archipelago to 3,893, up from 3,263 a year ago. Passenger numbers on the Praslin route increased by 6.9% to 44,708 (Q3 2012: 41,820).
Jöel Morgan, Seychelles’ Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, and Chairman of Air Seychelles, said: “It is a pleasure to see these results which show that we are solidly on track for a second year of profitability, confirming that our business plan was soundly constructed. With continued focus, it is certain that Air Seychelles will continue to deliver strongly. Considering our convenient schedule and connections, we offer a powerful proposition to the traveling public, which will continue to contribute to the record number of tourists visiting our islands.”
Air Seychelles was established in 1978 and began long-haul service in 1983. The airline currently offers international flights to Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Johannesburg and Mauritius. Air Seychelles also offers more than 200 domestic scheduled flights a week throughout the archipelago, as well as domestic charter services. As the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, Air Seychelles is a pillar of tourism, the island nation’s strongest and growing economic sector. The airline maintains a strategic partnership with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and 40% stakeholder.