Etihad-linked airline to expand UAE services

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Etihad Airways signed an agreement to take a 40 percent stake in Air Seychelles in January.

Etihad Airways signed an agreement to take a 40 percent stake in Air Seychelles in January.

Air Seychelles, in which Etihad Airways holds a 40 percent stake, on Sunday announced an expansion to its international schedule, including extra flights to Abu Dhabi.

The changes, effective March 24, also include increased weekly frequencies to Johannesburg and Mauritius.

The airline maintains a strategic partnership with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE and 40 percent stakeholder.

Together with a new Hong Kong services, the new schedule will effectively double the airline's weekly international services, from eight to 16.

Abu Dhabi services will increase from four to seven return flights per week, supporting Air Seychelles' codeshare operations and the new Hong Kong services.

Etihad Airways will operate three services per week on the route.

The partner airlines' combined schedule of 10 services per week brings daily services to the Seychelles-Abu Dhabi route, with greatly enhanced connectivity over the Abu Dhabi hub.

Under a codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways in place since January, the combined network currently offers 440 convenient flight connections per week from the Seychelles to destinations across the globe. This will increase to 496 connections from March 24.

When the new schedule takes effect, connecting flights from the Seychelles over Abu Dhabi and onwards to markets across Europe will increase from 144 to 151 connections per week.

Air Seychelles announced this week that its three weekly return services to Hong Kong, operated via Abu Dhabi, would commence on March 24.

Cramer Ball, Air Seychelles CEO, said: "We have seen strong performance across our existing international network in the course of what has been a turn-around year for Air Seychelles.

"By bringing additional flights to these high-demand markets and increasing our connectivity to emerging markets, we are creating a solid foundation for the future of Air Seychelles, Seychelles tourism and our home economy."

Air Seychelles announced third quarter revenues of $13.8m, up 23 percent on the second quarter, as the airline's restructuring programme took effect. Growth in revenue was led by a 51 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in passengers.

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