Air India and Air Seychelles are now offering travellers enhanced connections on their respective networks following the signing of a codeshare agreement last week.
Under the new codeshare agreement, Air India will place its “AI” code on Air Seychelles regional services between Mumbai and the Seychelles and Johannesburg.
In turn, Air Seychelles will place its “HM” code on Air India domestic services to eight cities including Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Kochi, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Trivandrum and also on its international services between Mumbai and Bangkok.
PS Kharola, chairman and managing director of Air India, said: “India has a huge latent market for leisure travel owing to the burgeoning middle class and rising disposable incomes. As per government statistics, the Indian air market in 2017-18 carried 62 million international passengers and is poised to grow at 12.4 per cent CAGR till 2025 as per CAPA.
“The Inbound arrivals into India for 2017, stood at 26.89 million passengers registering a growth of 8.8 per cent. Not only are Indians travelling to international destinations more; the average spend on travel too is on the rise.
“Air India, the flag carrier of India is ensuring that we reap the benefits of this growth in outbound and inbound tourism by adding new destinations through our own network and through alliances.
“This partnership with Air Seychelles will enable our customers to have a direct access to this beautiful archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
“Our vast domestic network will ensure a seamless travel experience from all parts of India to the direct flight between Mumbai and Seychelles. We are indeed excited about this alliance.’’
Remco Althuis, chief executive officer of Air Seychelles, said: “India is a very important market for Air Seychelles, and we are pleased to grow our commercial ties with Air India as part of our strategy to offer our guests greater choice and connectivity.
“Apart from providing services to the beautiful islands of the Seychelles, guests travelling from India can also enjoy seamless connection in less than three hours over the Seychelles to Johannesburg.
“In fact as from December 10, this year, Air Seychelles will provide an additional 544 seats per week between Seychelles and Johannesburg to accommodate the growing demand over the upcoming Winter and Easter period thus, offering holidaymakers and business travellers from India more choice when planning their travel during the peak seasons.”
The codeshare agreement was signed by Mr Kharola and Althuis, at Air India’s headquarters in Delhi-India, in the presence of the senior management team and staff members of both airlines.
Air Seychelles currently operates five flights per week between Mumbai and Seychelles on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The national airline of Seychelles has been serving India’s financial, commercial city of Mumbai for nearly four years since the launch of its direct flights in December 2014.