Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, today announced that two of the three aircraft it has ordered from Canada’s Viking Air will arrive in mid-2014, one year ahead of schedule.
Last October, Air Seychelles placed an order for three Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft in a multi-million dollar deal which will enable the island carrier to renew its domestic fleet. Deliveries were scheduled for mid-2015, with earlier advancement possible if newly built aircraft became available.
Air Seychelles now plans to welcome the new Twin Otters in July, following which, the aircraft will enter into service between Mahé and Praslin, as well as other islands in the archipelago, including Bird, Denis, D’Arros, and Frégate.
The third Twin Otter aircraft is expected to arrive in the third quarter of 2015. All three new aircraft are part of a phased business plan to refresh the Twin Otter DHC6 fleet.
Manoj Papa, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said: “Air Seychelles’ international and domestic operations continue to move from strength to strength, and the arrival of these new aircraft into our fleet ahead of schedule marks a great milestone in our growth plan.
“They will form the backbone of a rejuvenated Air Seychelles domestic fleet, secure the future of our inter-island services, and help to cement Seychelles tourism and the local economy.
Our domestic flying business also offers a great career path for Seychellois. This year we are training five new domestic pilots and have promoted two First Officers to Captains. In the past two years, eight domestic pilots have moved on to train on the Airbus A330-200 at Etihad Airways’ modern Training Academy in Abu Dhabi.
Twin Otters were first introduced by Air Seychelles in the early 1980s and the airline currently operates three DHC-6 Series 300 aircraft and 1 DHC-6 Series 400 aircraft.
The 19-seat twin engine Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 aircraft are manufactured by Viking Air in British Columbia, Canada. Air Seychelles placed orders for the aircraft last October due to their robustness and suitability for short sector flying, capacity to land on rugged, short airstrips, and their ability to operate in a saline and humid environment.
Air Seychelles is currently in the process of planning welcome festivities to mark the arrival of the Twin Otters.
About Air Seychelles
Air Seychelles was established in 1978 and began long-haul service in 1983. The airline currently offers international flights to Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg, Mauritius and Mumbai. Air Seychelles also offers more than 350 domestic scheduled flights a week throughout the archipelago, including domestic charter services. As the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, Air Seychelles is a pillar of tourism, the island nation’s strongest and growing economic sector. The airline maintains a strategic partnership with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and 40 per cent stakeholder.