Amidst the pandemic leading to uncertainties within the aviation industry, Air Seychelles has described 2021 as a year filled with agility and resilience, following a review of its 2021 performance.
Besides resuming intermittent flights across its network due to opening and closure of borders, the airlines' A320neo aircraft through charters and repatriation flights carried a total of 16,121 passengers across the globe, covering over 20 new destinations including Mayotte, Luanda, Lomé, Bucharest, Manila, Jeddah, Botswana and others.
The airline also made its mark in Australia in May 2021, after the beautiful livery of the A320neo aircraft touched down in Perth and Sydney for the first time in history.
Despite the unprecedented environment, air cargo remained the most efficient mode of transport in maintaining the supply chain. In 2021, Air Seychelles saw an increase of 12.75 per cent in cargo handled combining both imports and exports, totaling to 7578.07 tons compared to 7460.26 tons in 2020.
The increase in cargo demand at the Seychelles International Airport was exceptionally noticeable between March and July 2021, following the reopening of Seychelles borders to tourism of which a total volume of 2, 612.46 tons of cargo was handled during that period only resulting in a 70 percent increase compared to total volume of 1534.82 during the same period in 2020.
The ease in travel restrictions from March onwards also elevated activities at the Mahe and Praslin Airports. Between January and December 2021, the ground handling department handled 191,065 incoming and 191,132 outgoing passengers amounting to 382,197 passengers in total compared to 591,927 passengers in 2020.
Air Seychelles alone combining both inbound and outbound regional traffic including domestic, contributed a total of 95,458 passengers after having operated 350 regional and 5,529 domestic flights across its entire network.
Following the shift in the travel industry, the peak travel months on the domestic route was in October where the airline carried 11,967 passengers between Mahe and Praslin compared to August as tradition, whilst on the regional route, Israel emerged as the most popular destination with 2,473 passengers carried on the route in September.
Acting Chief Executive Officer, Sandy Benoiton said: "2021 was definitely a year filled with challenges. The sharp spike in Omicron infections did not stabilize the operating environment or completely relaxed travel restrictions globally, hence why the number of passengers handled at the airport decreased significantly compared to previous years.
"Despite the uncertainties in the market, I am happy that the Air Seychelles team remained determined, showcased great agility and resilience by adapting to the changes within the operating environment at a fast pace, doing their best to keep Air Seychelles flying."
About Air Seychelles
The Seychelles' national carrier was incorporated in 1977 and was formally named 'Air Seychelles' in 1978. The airline began long-haul operations in 1983 and continues to remain one of the tourism pillars contributing towards the island's strongest growing economic sector.
In 2021, Air Seychelles managed to retain the most coveted title of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline’ at the World Travel Awards including, ‘Indian Ocean's Leading Airline - Business Class and Indian Ocean's Leading Cabin Crew . The airline also marked a historic milestone at the 28th edition of the World Travel Awards for having its premium lounge recognised for the first time ever as ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline Lounge 2021’.