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2018, október 23 - 08:00

Air Seychelles’ scenic flights take off on a high

Visitors and locals alike can now enjoy a bird’s eye view of the most beautiful spots on Mahé following the launch yesterday of Air Seychelles’ new domestic ‘scenic flights’.

The 30-minute flights to and back the same way, one touring the north of Mahé and the other touring the south, have been carefully developed in conjunction with the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA), which has assisted in designing the low altitude routes, as well as the travel trade and the destination management companies (DMCs) who will be the key distributors of the product, offering more choice of activities to visitors.

Roy Kinnear, chief executive of Air Seychelles, said: “With our new ‘scenic flights’, travellers will be able to experience and appreciate the unparalleled beauty of Seychelles from a whole new angle. Flying at a low altitude on a Twin Otter aircraft , our service will provide breathtaking views of many famous sights and landmarks on Mahé, from stunning beaches to the verdant hills of the national park, all framed by the Indian ocean. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience and we are confident it will appeal to both residents and international visitors who are looking to explore Seychelles from the air.”

The first flight took off yesterday morning with a group of travel and other representatives from the tourism industry as well as representatives of Air Seychelles and the media.

Scheduled to visit north of Mahé, captain Mervin Mondon who designed the two scenic paths, assisted by Steven Savy, opted to travel south as the weather was clearer in the south compared to north which was more cloudy and rainy. Flying at a low altitude 600 feet to 100 feet, the flight provides the best opportunity for picture taking.

The 19-seater Air Seychelles Twin Otter DCH-6 400 with eleven window seats, took off at 11am towards the south where although a bit cloudy, its guests from 7 Degrees South, Mason’s Travel, Creole Travel Services, Seychelles European Destination, Ephelia Resort & Spa and Air Seychelles, were exposed to what they described as “the breathtaking beauty” of the coastal shores of Ile Soleil, Au Cap, Anse Royale, Grand Police and Intendance experiencing views of the stretch of small rock-fringed coves, the waves splashing on soft white sandy beaches and on the granite rocks, the hotels hiding in the vegetation, the mountains, the marshes and houses.

The flight was described by all as “very exciting, sweet and short”.

Eric Renard, deputy general manager at Creole Travel Services, said “it’s very interesting in the sense that it is a new product on the market and the clients are always looking and asking for new activities. Apart from island hopping, fishing and excursions this will be another alternative for clients as they will see other areas from the air, not accessible by other means. It’s a very good product”.

Excursion supervisor at 7 Degrees South, Geraldine Houareau, said she was very impressed to see the beauty of Seychelles from close and “I think it is a very good thing what Air Seychelles is offering to the visitors and the locals and I think we will do very well selling the scenic flights to our clients as it will be something new which I think they will try”.      

Emiline Dorby, sales executive at Mason’s Travel, commended the initiative of Air Seychelles and said “as we get a lot of clients who are always looking for new adventures, we can propose this product to them and see how it goes and I think it will be successful if we do it right”.

Kathleen Payet, head of sales at Air Seychelles, said as the airline makes regular flights to Praslin and some other islands, it has witnessed a rise in the demand for short scenic flights.

“This will give the opportunity to those coming on short holidays and who do not have time for island hopping, to see a bit of Seychelles from the air. We are also targeting locals who can take this opportunity to come as a group, especially those coming to Seychelles on holiday, to see for themselves how our country is from above,” she said, noting that DMCs can book for the charter flight with Air Seychelles 24 hours in advance and that locals can book for places with the DMCs selling the flights or directly with Air Seychelles.

She also said that DMCs will be able to bring their own guide on the flights so that they could give more information to their clients on the various sites viewed from above.

For the North scenic flight, the aircraft leaves the airport towards Eden Island to Victoria, overlooking the islands in the marine park to the northern coastline of Beau Vallon, Anse Major, Baie Ternay, Port Launay, Morne Seychellois and Grand Anse Mahé where clients will get the opportunity to see the beauty of the north from its beaches, national park, infrastructure, mountains etc…

People wishing to experience the 30-minute scenic flights can do so by making their reservations as from today.