Etihad wins with Air Seychelles' growth, doubles international passenger traffic

November 10
7:42 AM 2013

Seychelles' national airline carrier said it had doubled the number of its international passengers boarding their aircrafts in the past year. Air Seychelles attributed its growth in its international division due to a number of new services and expansion of its international aircraft fleet.

The Etihad Airways-backed airline revealed that over 55,000 passengers flew internationally in the third quarter. It was a significant increase to the 28,847 international passengers the airline recorded in the same period the year before.

Air Seychelles CEO Cramer Ball sounded pleased about its progress. "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 code-share partners. 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," Ball said.

Its Abu Dhabi route was its best-performing routes. Airline passenger seat factor increased to 63.7% at 23,000 people during the third quarter. Business news website Arabian Business pointed out that the increase incurred despite a 67.7% available seat kilometre increase. This had put the airline company's revenue from USD89.8 million to USD209.8 million.

Etihad acquired a 29.21% ownership stake in Air Seychelles sometime the end of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012. On March 2012, Air Seychelles made an announcement of its business development partnership with Etihad.

The partnership entailed a codeshare agreement wherein Air Seychelles would be flying passengers to Abu Dhabi on behalf of Etihad. The agreement allowed Etihad to service all travel to Europe via the Abu Dhabi route through Air Seychelles. The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates also lent USD25 million to Air Seychelles to help the latter expand. The partnership resulted to an increase in Etihad's equity interest in the former to 40%.

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