Seychelles is at the helm of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands once again, and the date when Didier Dogley, the Tourism Minister of the islands took office coincided with the announcement that Air Seychelles will be resuming direct flights to Madagascar.
The Big Island of Madagascar deserves better air connectivity with its regional island nations as it remains one of the six islands of this Indian Ocean grouping. Seychelles is well connected to Reunion by Air Austral, a strategic partner for Air Madagascar and could be enticed to increase their flights to Seychelles with a better connection with their flights to and from Madagascar. How is Seychelles going to benefit from this .. and does any benefit if any not outweigh the risks to our already very fragile tourism industry as a small island state. Why therefore risk it for a biscuit! A very bad decision in my view and in the view of so many in Seychelles which is unnecessary.
This announcement of restarting the flight to Madagascar came just as Air Seychelles, the National Airline of the Seychelles is considering to discontinue its flights to Abu Dhabi, a tourist hub and one that is linking Seychelles to the World. From within the Airline, many are confused and the tourism trade cannot understand the discontinuing of flights from a tourism source market to introduce a flight where we started and pulled out so often in the last number of years because of viability of that route. This link was a commercial one when Air Seychelles flew to Paris as it provided a pool of passengers looking for a cheaper route to Europe. Today Air Seychelles is not flying to Europe and this link is a point to point (Madagascar / Seychelles) and cannot be a sought after route over tourism source markets possible routes.
Source: Saint Ange Tourism Report