Air Seychelles has welcomed its first non-stop flight from Tel Aviv, linking Israel to the Seychelles. Flight HM021 which landed at the Seychelles International Airport at 8.15am was greeted by a traditional water canon salute, in the presence of key dignitaries, government representatives, travel trade members as well as media partners.
To celebrate this momentous occasion the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Didier Dogley, Chairman of Air Seychelles Board, Jean Weeling-Lee, Air Seychelles Chief Executive, Remco Althuis together with the Chief Executive of Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA), Garry Albert and Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Chief Executive Sherin Francis participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the commencement of the new service. Addressing the guests during the welcoming ceremony, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Didier Dogley said: “The launch of the new service between Seychelles and Tel Aviv will further enhance the tourism and economic ties between the two countries, in addition to making a significant contribution towards the growth of tourism in the Seychelles which has been targeted between 3 to 5 per cent for 2019.
“As part of our marketing efforts to bring the Seychelles Islands to the world, we will continue to work with Air Seychelles to build our presence within the Israeli market, to further increase our visibility and establish Seychelles as the preferred holiday destination in the Indian Ocean.” Remco Althuis, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles added further: “We are tremendously excited to have added Tel Aviv unto our network and delighted to welcome the first guests on our new scheduled non-stop flight from Tel Aviv to Seychelles today.
“Being on board this first flight which was 100 per cent full with 120 passengers, the maximum capacity for this route, I must say that since we made the announcement to fly on the Tel Aviv route, the feedback from the Israeli market has been very positive.
“The extremely strong bookings, exceeding the 90 per cent load factor for the upcoming two months has definitely surpassed our expectations, and we are confident that with the support of our partners both locally and abroad, we will continue to bring more visitors from Israel to the Seychelles.
“The successful arrival of flight HM021 would have not been possible without the support of our stakeholders and colleagues at Air Seychelles. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who has been heavily involved in this project including the STB, SCAA, Department of Foreign Affairs,travel trade partners as well as our dedicated staff members for the effort and invaluable support throughout.”
The flight between Tel Aviv and the Seychelles operated on Wednesdays has been carefully timed to provide business and leisure traveller’s seamless onward connections to Mauritius and Johannesburg.
Operated by the modern Airbus A320neo aircraft ‘Veuve’, the inaugural Tel Aviv service was commended by Captain Mervin Sicobo and First Officer Russel Morel whilst the guests were looked after by Cabin Manager Mervin Arrisol, Cabin Senior Kelpha Dailoo including Flight Attendant Janette Croisee and Laureen Loze.