Air Seychelles records profit fourth consecutive year



Air Seychelles has been a profitable company for the fourth consecutive year, this in spite of challenges and what has been termed as turbulences in the aviation jargon.

For the year 2015, the national airline has recorded a profit of US $2.1 million, from total revenue of US $105.4 million.

The figures were revealed by the chairman of the Air Seychelles board Joel Morgan who is also the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport. This was during a meeting with the press yesterday afternoon at the Pointe Larue International Airport. Also present were Air Seychelles chief executive (CEO) Roy Kinnear and the company’s chief financial officer (CFO) Abdul Al Sayegh.

Minister Morgan has described the profit as important for the future of the aviation business not only in Seychelles, but in the whole of the Indian Ocean region.

“The profit is another wonderful result for our national airline and for the future of aviation in Seychelles and the Indian Ocean region. Air Seychelles has enhanced the image of our country. Our national airline is often the first contact for visitors who come to Seychelles. The level and quality of service as well as the look and ambiance of the aircraft are the images of the exotic destination Seychelles we would like to send to the world,” the minister and board chairman has commented.

Air Seychelles has attributed the success mainly due to the increase in passenger numbers which has shot up by 22% with a total of 522,873 passengers travelling with Air Seychelles in 2015, and cargo services which continue to also be a major growth area. These have been due to an increase in the international network, resulting in a 48% rise in international flights with the introduction of direct flights to Paris and to new destinations like Beijing, Mumbai and Madagascar. In addition, more flights were added on the Mauritius and Johannesburg routes, which along with the domestic service have proved to be the most profitable ones for the airline.

The Dar es Salaam route was however not a profitable one and had to be abandoned as a result of Mr Kinnear has described as “a tough commercial decision, but taken for the benefit of everyone”. On the other hand, the Air Seychelles CEO is satisfied that the airline has up to now secured 61 code sharing agreements for other destinations around the world compared to 40 in 2014, partnerships which have generated 41% of Air Seychelles’ passenger revenue. For the domestic service, he says this “has skyrocketed in 2015,” with now more than 200 flights per week.

“We are proud to have been able to deliver on our mandate which was to achieve strong growth, to become the region’s leading career and most importantly to be a commercially viable and profitable enterprise while remaining one of the key drivers of economic growth in Seychelles,” Mr Kinnear has said.

As the $2.1 million profit is about 1 million less than in 2014 (3.2 million that year) the CEO went on to explain that this is because the airline has “invested to grow” and that revenue is shared with other airlines which carry Air Seychelles’ passengers.

Investments have included two A320 and one A330 Airbus aircraft as well as a DHC-6 Twin Otter, staff recruitment and training with 128 new jobs created bringing the total workforce to 727 staff, added to upgrade in engineering, ground services and general operations where a new ticketing system has been introduced.

“We have now laid down the foundation for the future growth of the national airline. Without the investment, this would not have been possible,” Mr Kinnear has added, insisting that “good service is a win-win scenario for the guests and the airline.”

In spite of the economic success and Air Seychelles now the Indian Ocean’s number one airline, he has further stressed “that there is no finishing line ahead and we must not rest on our laurels as there is always the possibility to improve the service.” This will be through code share expansion and network growth while focusing on improving on passenger routes like China, Mumbai and Madagascar and looking into the possibility of developing new ones like possibly Japan. To serve those routes and to cater for an expected rise in cargo volume, a new Airbus aircraft will be acquired.

With more passengers from the region connecting to Paris via Air Seychelles’ direct flight from Mahé, Minister Morgan has observed that Seychelles is developing into an Indian Ocean hub.

“We will continue to consolidate Air Seychelles’ position by making investments that will allow the airline to continue on its current trajectory of further growth,” the Air Seychelles chairman has concluded.



Source: NATION 5-4-16