Group photo of Seychelles and Indian delegation
Group photo of Seychelles and Indian delegation
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New Indian Airline to start operations to Seychelles

Seychelles and India held bilateral aviation talks on Wednesday 08 May 2024, in New Delhi, India. The Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA), Mr. Garry Albert, headed the Seychelles delegation comprising of representatives from Air Seychelles, led by its CEO Mr. Sandy Benoiton, as well as other officials of Seychelles Aviation Authority. The Seychelles High Commissioner to India Mrs. Lalatiana Accouche, also attended the session.

The aim of the talks was to discuss ways to further liberalize the air transport arrangement that exists between the two countries in order to introduce fresh provisions, creating more opportunities for airlines of both countries to enjoy greater operational flexibility.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Albert noted the importance of such engagement, highlighting that the “sustenance of our excellent bilateral relations hinges on our two sides regularly engaging in dialogue to find new avenues to strengthen our partnership. India’s growth in the aviation sector has been impressive and the rest of the world watches in awe as the country becomes an important international hub in the region, supporting global economic growth”.

On his part, Shri Asangba Chuba Ao, Joint Secretary for the Ministry of Civil Aviation of India, who headed the Indian delegation, emphasized that the two countries enjoy cordial and friendly relations for many decades and as a result, Seychelles is becoming an up and coming destination of choice for Indian tourists. He accentuated that there has been an increasing interest by Indian carriers to operate direct flights to Seychelles. The demand for travel to Seychelles is increasing significantly, as such, making these talks important to create the space to facilitate commercial air operations, for the mutual benefits of the two countries.

Seychelles and India are currently connected by a direct flight operated by Air Seychelles to Mumbai once a week. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline was conducting 5 weekly flights to India. Despite the dip in frequency on the route there has been a growth of over 50% in Indian visitors to Seychelles from 2022 to 2023.

During the discussions, it was revealed that IndiGO Airline, one of the fastest growing Indian air carriers, intends to launch flights to Seychelles in October 2024. The airline is expected to conduct three weekly flights to the archipelago. IndiGO is currently in final discussions with its Authority in India, to secure all necessary approvals and they are also in talks with the Authorities in Seychelles.

Mr. Albert said that the launch of these flights by IndiGO is a direct result of the modern air services framework between our two countries. “These arrangements negotiated by the government yields tangible results and it is the people of Seychelles who reaps the ultimate benefits.”

During the talks, Seychelles was also informed of the interest by a second Indian carrier to start flights to Seychelles, in the near future.

India has risen to become the world’s fifth largest economy leapfrogging France and the UK. Having undergone tremendous transformation over the years, India has positioned itself amongst the most chosen destinations by many tourists and for Seychellois as a medical tourism destination whilst many others seek educational opportunities and other professional development options. The country is also renowned for its marriage ceremonies, melting its old cultural heritage and the vibrancy of the modern era, making it a destination of choice for people who want to reconnect with themselves as well as for thrill seekers and budding adventurers.

Seychelles and India signed an Air Services Agreement in 2015 that airlines of both countries have been using as the basis for their operations.

About SCAA

The Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) was established under the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority Act ,2005, as an administrative and financial body corporate to provide for the services, facilities and regulation of civil aviation activities in Seychelles, consistent and in accordance with national and international standards.

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