Numbers soar for Air Seychelles

Air Seychelles says it is on track to achieve a second consecutive year of profitability after more than doubling revenues during the first six months.

Air Seychelles says it is on track to achieve a second consecutive year of profitability after more than doubling revenues during the first six months.

Greater revenue contribution from its equity partner Etihad Airways, combined with the airline's ongoing turnaround strategy and international expansion, boosted the carrier's performance.

Total revenue for the second quarter reached US$26 million, up 139 per cent from the first half of 2012. Total revenue for the first six months this year was $42.5m, a 124 per cent rise.

"We achieved triple-digit growth in the second quarter of 2013 - a tremendous result and further evidence of the success of our strategy," said Cramer Ball, the chief executive of Air Seychelles.

"At the beginning of the year, we committed to the further development of our network through organic growth and partnerships and we have delivered on that promise."

The results reflect the airline's continuing rehabilitation since the Abu Dhabi carrier took a 40 per cent stake in the airline in March last year. The deal involved Etihad being awarded a five-year management contract.

Air Seychelles attributed a significant slice of its first-half performance to increased passenger traffic. Passenger revenues for the first half of the year reached $27.9m, up 99 per cent from the previous year. Passenger numbers grew 44 per cent to 146,980.

The airline has increased services to Johannesburg, Mauritius and Abu Dhabi as well as launching flights to Hong Kong, effectively doubling weekly international services from eight last year to 16 now.

The airline expanded its codeshare agreement with Etihad to 23 destinations served by the airlines.

It has also taken delivery of a second Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

"The half-year performance of our national airline has exceeded expectations," said Joël Morgan, the Seychelles minister for home affairs and transport, and chairman of Air Seychelles. "As a result of its equity partnership with Etihad Airways and the codeshare agreements with other airlines, Air Seychelles has increased its global presence, resulting in record growth for Seychelles tourism."

Air Seychelles had been on the brink of bankruptcy following the 2008 global financial crisis, forcing it to seek government help. Etihad's investment helped the airline to return to profit last year.

In an effort to expand its reach, Etihad has blazed a global acquisition trail in the past two-and-a-half years.

Last month it announced a 49 per cent shareholding in Jat Airways, the Serbian carrier, and is close to finalising a 24 per cent equity investment in the Indian carrier Jet Airways. Etihad also owns 29.2 per cent of airberlin and has shareholdings of 10.5 per cent in Virgin Australia and 2.9 per cent in Aer Lingus.

Published: September 5, 2013 04:00 AM


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