Air France returns to the Seychelles, connecting the island nation to Paris
Air France will operate bi-weekly flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. (Seychelles Tourism)
(Seychelles News Agency) – Air France resumed direct flights from the Seychelles to Paris, the French capital, when it touched down at Pointe Larue International Airport on Sunday.
After an 18-month hiatus, the national airline of France will operate bi-weekly flights departing from Paris Charles de Gaulle the airport on Thursdays and Saturdays. Return flights from Mahé will be on Fridays and Sundays.
Sunday’s first flight carried 203 guests who tasted Creole hospitality as they received local souvenirs from the Tourism Ministry and experienced the keen mind of the Seychellois through traditional live music.
Director General of Destination Marketing Bernadette Willemin said “Air France’s return to our shores is a great moment for our destination. France remains a market that is doing well for us despite the lack of direct flights and the fact that we are on the red list.
She added that with “the availability of direct flights to Seychelles from today, we expect the French market to not only do well in terms of visitor arrivals but also to regain its place in the three first markets “.
Seychelles recorded 43,297 visitor arrivals from France in 2019, making it the country’s second largest market for that year. In 2021, the island nation welcomed 8,620 French visitors.
Willemin said Seychelles’ withdrawal from France’s red list and the return of Air France should stimulate visitor arrivals.
“This will also help improve the occupancy rate not only in hotels, but also in small guesthouses and independent establishments and will attract more visitors to Praslin, La Digue and the other islands,” he said. she adds.
For his part, the French Ambassador to the Seychelles, Dominique Mas, declared: “We are happy to have a direct flight back from the Paris Charles de Gaulle the airport because it is now easier for French travelers to travel to the Seychelles.
Mas said having a direct connection will make it easier for travelers to travel to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
“The improvement in the health situation in the two countries has indeed contributed to the resumption of travel between France and the Seychelles. The decision to place Seychelles on the “orange list” and the arrival of Air France today reiterates the confidence of the two governments in the proper functioning of their respective security measures, ”he added.
With the return of Air France, 11 airlines now connect the Seychelles to the rest of the world.