Ethiopian Airlines has started its new weekly flight bound to the Seychelles islands from the Ethiopian capital main hub, Addis Ababa.
The airlines' Boeing HNOET879 inaugural commercial flight touched down at the Seychelles International airport at 1505 hours local time with 80 passengers.
The flight was welcomed by the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Elsia Grandcourt, and it received its traditional water canon salute from the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority.
The Chief Executive of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, who was on board the maiden flight, has described this inaugural flight to the Seychelles âas an important service,â saying that âit connects passengers to the Seychelles from the company's core markets in Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and Asia.â
Mr. Gebremariam said that âSeychelles, which features as a popular tourism destination, especially for the Asian market, is seen as profitable for the Ethiopian Airlines.â
The Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Elsia Grandcourt, said that the Ethiopian Airlines inaugural flight to the Seychelles âis a positive sign for the country as a tourism destination.â
âThe Ethiopian Airlines weekly flights to the Seychelles represent a step ahead in the development of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, as it further links up the archipelago with four weekly flights to Africa and offers connecting flights to Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and Asia.â
Mrs. Grandcourt said that âwith the Seychelles tapping into the Asian, Scandinavian, Europe, and Indian markets, the Ethiopian Airlines weekly flights to the Seychelles will bring more visitors to the Seychelles from these two potential destinations.â
The Seychelles Tourism Board's Chief Executive Officer also explained that the âhigh frequencies of flight arrivals in the Seychelles shows that the existing airline competition in the country is healthy, and this will help the Seychelles to pick up on its tourism arrivals.â
Ethiopian Airlines, which currently operates in 63 international destinations, will arrive in the Seychelles from Addis Ababa on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
In January 2012, Ethiopian Airlines operated an inaugural charter flight to Seychelles from China. On board the flight were more than a hundred passengers from China.
Seychelles is the airline's 48th destination.
Source: Seychelles Ministry of Tourism & Culture