Once again, after a 20 year hiatus, Air Seychelles will be flying routes between Israel and the Indian Ocean Islands, Seychelles, thanks to improved airplane technology that cuts flight time and reduces fuel costs.
Air Seychelles stopped running direct flights between Israel and the Seychelles 20 years ago when it proved financially unfeasible. But with the addition of the fuel- and cost-efficient Airbus A320neo to the carrier’s fleet, the journey is once more possible.
New aircraft technology has made the six hour, 20 minute flight economically feasible, and the airline hopes to capitalize on Israel’s geographic link to Europe through an eventual partnership with El-Al. It also hopes to build off the existing tourism relationship between Israel and the Seychelles.
The airline announced that it has selected Tel Aviv as its newest destination for non-stop flights, which will begin operation on November 27.
Currently, approximately 4,500 Israelis visit the vacation spot each year, and the 115-island archipelago known for its crystal waters and lush forests hopes to increase that number to support an economy heavily reliant on the tourism industry.
“While we are a 40-year-old airline, we have one of the youngest fleets,” said Charles Johnson, chief commercial officer of Air Seychelles. With direct flights to Tel Aviv, the Seychelles will be the first country in Africa to operate the A320neo.
The flights will depart from Tel Aviv every Wednesday at 11:55 p.m. and arrive in the Seychelles the next morning. They will return to Israel the following week on Wednesday’s at 5:30 p.m., thereby locking in travelers for a week-long getaway.