Ethiopian Airlines pulls out of the Seychelles

With Ethiopian Airlines pulling out the Seychelles is no longer served by any Star Alliance Airline.
After starting up with much fanfare last year have news now emerged that Ethiopian Airlines will halt their flights to Mahe from March 2014 onwards after apparently failing to make a significant impact vis a vis traffic carried to the archipelago compared to their own forecasts and expectations.
The airline was flying 4 times a week between Addis Ababa and Mahe’s International Airport and the flights are no longer visible after March 2014 in any of the common reservation systems, a clear indicator that the flights have been ‘offed’.
The Seychelles, one of the world’s most sought after destinations’, literally sells itself according to other airlines and yet has Ethiopian failed to capitalize on the appeal of the destination and its global standing. Inside information from Addis Ababa speaks of internal discussions, some apparently contentious, over the airline’s decision to pull out of the Seychelles, not only on the line of the potential fallout for the airline but also for the political dimension this decision could have. The Seychelles are a member of long and good standing in the African Union, which is headquartered in Addis Ababa and the archipelago’s tourism minister Alain St. Ange is currently one of Africa’s representatives on the UNWTO Executive Committee.
ET departs from the Seychelles amid regrets by the archipelago’s tourism sector, many of whom from a quick survey taken were not yet aware of the decision. Members of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association, the main private sector platform where the main actors of the archipelago’s tourism industry come together, prefer to have a wider range of options to fly to Mahe from around the world, over and above home boys Air Seychelles which flies in partnership with Etihad, global giant Emirates which flies 12 times a week from Dubai to Mahe and Kenya Airways which connects presently 4 times a week out of Nairobi.
ET joins Qatar Airways, which withdrew from the Seychelles route a few months ago, the departure of the latter considered a greater loss for the archipelago’s tourism industry due to the global appeal QR has established as a five star airline. ‘If true, and I have no reason to doubt you after being spot on with past information about airlines coming or going, it will be a bit of a blow for us.
Emirates will for two months in 2014 fly only one flight per day because the Dubai airport runways are being resurfaced and traffic will need to be reduced. They have not yet said if they will bring in a larger aircraft to cater for the 5 flights each week which for those two months will be cancelled. Ethiopian brought in traffic from not just their global network but also from Africa and we now rely on Air Seychelles to bring traffic from South Africa and of course Kenya Airways.
KQ (Kenya Airways) now flies 4 times a week and there is some hope they may eventually add more flights and one day go daily. I think the use of their smaller Embraer jets will be a factor to make this possible.
However, there have been suggestions that Ethiopian did not market the Seychelles as resolutely as they could or should have done. STB [The Seychelles Tourism Board] works with all the airlines coming here and often has intervened on their behalf over the cost of ground handling at our airport.
That was a major factor for the Italian airline Panorama when they pulled out last year. It think there is a need to remove obstacles of any kind so that we can attract more air traffic and the ministries concerned, tourism and transport, should regularly sit and talk with Air Seychelles of how to encourage flights and keep the cost of handling within comparative ranges of other destinations like Mauritius or Reunion.
The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) goes into key markets with airlines to promote the islands and have dedicated significant resources over the years to bring in agents fam trips, media trips and even airline marketing staff to showcase our attractions. If an airline like Ethiopian would have come to us in the private sector we would have helped wherever and however we could but now that the decision seems official, there is perhaps not much left to be done but hope they change their mind in the future and return to Mahe again’ commented one source, however not ready to go on record.
Another regular source from Victoria, when told, lamented the loss of connections from the African mainland, where a significant rise in passenger numbers was recorded since Ethiopian started to fly to Mahe alongside Kenya Airways, saying: ‘Visitors from Africa, though some stay in very posh hotels, often opt for guest houses, self catering and apartments. These visitors support our indigenous Seychellois businesses and when Ethiopian leaves there is less choice for many to come here. I think Ethiopian has the most destinations in Africa but once they leave it will be left to Kenya Airways to cater for that traffic. Maybe they can add more flights to Mahe and provide the seats we now seem to lose from Africa’.
Understandably were no official comments available from any government offices or from STB in view of the extended holiday period and the current weekend.
Only recently did Air Austral announce the resumption of flights between Reunion and the Seychelles, from 23rd of June next year, with initially two frequencies, offering additional connectivity, and Air Seychelles has a few weeks ago also announced a significant increase in flights, including the resumption of direct flights to and from Paris, though via Abu Dhabi.
By Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Africa Correspondent | Dec 29, 2013  


  1. Sad Ethiopian Airlines could not continue as planed, but it was anticipated there would be obstacles on the ground. Cramer Ball is playing hard balls to rid Etihad of rival airlines. It is all part of the Arab-hub grand scheme and could not careless for the Seychelles tourism statistics.

  2. Worry not, ! Watch this space, 2014 should be a great year with the opening of Savoy, the extension of Hilton Northolme, the new Emirates Hotel at Bel Ombre, ever increasing rooms at Eden Island for expats to compete with small establishments, new hotel at Eden. Room capacity keeps increasing whilst seats flying in keeps reducing. Hopefully, we can have some special rates for local tourists to fill up these ever increasing room capacity !

  3. This sounds like excellent planning by SPPF PL as usual. Our people are brilliant. -That is why David Savy works behind a desk at the airport.
    -Danny Faure, Executive Vice President, is author of the "National Assembly Guide".
    - Lawyer Govinden says he does not need to speak to the Seychelles BAR to admit foreign lawyers to Seychelles offshore.

    - Michel says his family wishes you well, though his family is either dead, on fixed pension for silence, or divorced.
    - Mitcy Larue gives out presents galore to patients, though she cannot give out required medication.
    - Morgan has destroyed air access to Seychelles
    - St. Ange is promoting Seychelles by all you can eat buffets instead of marketing strategy.
    -Laporte at Finance says he is doing a great job, but now taking on another IMF plan in March.
    - all that is left is for ABEL to devalue the Seychelles Rupee again.

    1. - Leopol the brigadier don't even know how he manage this tittle.
      -he never went to war- not even participate in the Coup.
      To a brigadier you need three platoons-3000 real men. SIR!
      Even Trokler and Pti kater Ver can't believe their ears.

  4. Were ever pp lay their hands its turn down in a garbage,fucking loser.

  5. The PL lack the culture of focusing on issues that are key to the progress of Seychelles.
    This explains why an IMF 2 year program has turned into a 5 year program, which will now turn into another 5 year program.
    Air Austral leaves, then it comes back. Then it leaves again, then it comes back. That does not tell you that something is wrong?
    Management is not about cocktail parties and pitching tents. This is where PL gets it all wrong and cost Seychelles many great opportunities.

  6. FAURE before writting book on Assemble which i thinkHERMITWE who is long in the ASSEMBLY should be the author,should tell us what is his qualification.What did he study in CUBA.Recently when illegally increase(doubling their salry)Faure explained that qualfied persons should be compensated for their work becuase of their qualfications. What is your qualification FAURE?What is Mitsy qualilfication?That of Drug Escobar too,Dr Govinden.And that of Nominated Minister,who studied in RUSSIA.WHat you qualification dogs?

    LĂ©aporte is doing a great according to the voice ringing in his own arsehole.Not that of Seychellis who have been emprovrished.IS depending on IMF;WORLD BANK;Foreign donors growth resulted from national productivity LAporte?Is living on charity ,and begging the owrld economy success for a soveiregn country?WHy if we succeeding still begging the world for fiancail helps?Why after all those yeras of bailed out by interantional instituions we still have not fixed our ecomony and must still depend on foreign aid?Is foreign aid,loan a new mean of productivity Laporte?

    St Ange promote Seychelles,in Sri Lanka,Ethopia if those countries are tourists providing countries.Marketing must be done in our main market Europe not Sri Lanka.

    We donot need foreign lawyers to our shores PGovinden,we have enough locals lawyers locally and highly qualified,.

    Jeanne D'Arc

  7. PP must understand thast EUROPEANS do not uncessary trust those Afircan Airlines(due to their reputations as trash Airline,which do not hold the standard of EUROPEAN norms.While Seychellois might use and board those AFrican Airlines ;EUROPEANS are likely not to be entice to flight such Airlines.

  8. You know great competent leaders etc.. never self-prasied themsleves they people does it automatically.Look at great MAndely ,he never self-praised himself but his achievem,emnt is tacit and recognize by S.African and the world.

    Only fools ,Dictaotrs ,idiots ,etc.. self.prasied themslves.

    Jeanne D'Arc

  9. From Manhattan New York - To all Freedom Loving People happy and prosperous new year. The light will lite up the sky anytime now and the ball will drop. See you all in June if everything goes well with Seychelles Airways.Hope all details will finalize.


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