With the country boasting one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, alongside its exclusive resorts, turquoise Indian Ocean waters and laid-back island vibe, it's an increasingly popular option for UAE travellers.
If you’re planning a visit, Air Seychelles is a solid option for travel. The country’s national airline launched a new weekly service between Dubai and Mahe on July 2, which will run until July 24.
The airline offers direct flights from Seychelles to the UAE, as well as domestic flights between Mahe and Praslin. If you're thinking about booking a business class flight to the island destination, here's everything you need to know about the experience.
My check-in process was faultless. After scanning my Seychelles Travel Authorisation form and passport, I was handed my boarding pass and, as a business class passenger, a coupon granting me access to the Marhaba Lounge.
The lounge was a bit of a walk from the gate, but access to breakfast, charging points and a morning cuppa provided ample motivation. The boarding process began on the dot and a shuttle bus transported us to our aircraft, an Airbus 320, 10 minutes later.
One of the greatest perks of flying business class during the pandemic is the extra space you’re granted. The business class section on the Air Seychelles aircraft is not extensive – 12 seats in total, two on either side – but it is more than enough for my flight's three business-class passengers, allowing plenty of room for social distancing.
In economy class, efforts were made to leave seats empty between passengers.
One of the first things you’ll notice upon boarding is that there are no screens on this flight. Air Seychelles’s international flights are instead equipped with seyStream in-flight entertainment. Guests need to use their own devices – be it a mobile phone, laptop or tablet – to access content on the system that they can watch offline for free.
A quick scan showed about eight films and five TV shows. It's enough for a four-and-a-half-hour flight, but best to bring your own entertainment if you’re picky.
Staff were warm and friendly, and I was offered options for my meal and when I wanted it to be served. There’s certainly something about a full-blown breakfast – banana pancakes, cut fruits and a croissant – up in the air.
Travelling during the pandemic involves some obvious changes, the most prominent being that every passenger who steps on an Air Seychelles flight is greeted with smile … and a spray of hand sanitiser.
As we buckled up, the pilot announcement came with a friendly but firm reminder to “keep wearing those face masks”, unless you are eating. All cabin crew staff wear a face mask at all times. Safety measures also mean that on arrival, Air Seychelles disembarks 30 passengers at a time to avoid overcrowding at the airport.
Air Seychelles is a wallet-friendly option if you are looking for direct flights between Dubai and Seychelles. While fixed weekly flights don't give you a lot of flexibility on your dates, the timings are extremely convenient.
The bottom line
Air Seychelles is operating weekly flights between Dubai and Seychelles until Saturday, July 24, departing from Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 on Friday mornings at 8am and landing in Seychelles at 12.30pm. The return flight takes off at 2.15pm from Seychelles International Airport every Thursday afternoon. There will also be an additional flight on Monday, July 19 from Dubai at 8am.
Economy-class fares start from $343 (Dh1,259), while business-class tickets start at $1,020 (Dh3,743). All fares are inclusive of taxes.
This review was conducted at the invitation of Air Seychelles. It reflects standards during the time of writing; services may change in the future