Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles has today become the first airline in the Indian Ocean and Africa to take delivery of a new Airbus A320neo aircraft into its international fleet.
Named “Veuve” after the most critically endangered bird commonly known as the Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, the single aisle aircraft was leased from CBD Aviation for a 12 year period at a cost of around $300,000 per month. It is registered as S7-VEV and comprises of 12 Business Class and 156 Economy Class seats.
Touching down at the Seychelles International Airport on Friday, “Veuve” was welcomed by a ceremonial water-cannon salute witnessed by high-level government dignitaries, members of travel and tourism trade as well as media partners.
Delegates on the ferry flight included Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer, Remco Althuis; Chief Operations Officer, Sandy Benoiton; CDB Aviation’s Head of Commercial for Africa, Europe and Middle-East, Peter Goodman; Airbus Head of Airline Marketing Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa, Joep Ellers; Airbus Sales Director, Marino Modena; as well as key members of the airline’s senior management team.
The ferry flight, which departed Hamburg, Germany on Thursday, 1 August in the evening commanded by Captain Nicole Chang-Leng and First Officer Steven Jasmin, made a short stopover in Abu Dhabi before proceeding to the Seychelles, under the command of Captain Hervé Morel and First Officer Samuel Lautee.
Addressing guests during the welcoming ceremony held at the airlines’ VIP Lounge, the Principal Secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Alan Renaud, said: “Today is indeed a marvelous moment for our national airline, as Air Seychelles becomes the first carrier in Africa to operate Airbus’ brand new A320neo aircraft. Our nation celebrates with you.
“The arrival of “Veuve” definitely marks the start of a new chapter in the development of the national airline as the increase seat capacity available on the aircraft, will enable Air Seychelles to continue delivering significant contribution towards both the growth of tourism and the Seychelles economy.”
According to a press release from Airbus, the A320neo is the worlds most advanced and fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft. The aircraft delivered to Air Seychelles is powered by two LEAP-1A engines from CFM International.
CFM International is a joint venture between GE Aviation, a division of General Electric of the United States, and Safran Aircraft Engines, a division of Safran of France.
“The A320neo will allow Air Seychelles to increase capacity on its network, while delivering significant fuel savings and reducing the airlines’ operating costs,” said Hadi Akoum Airbus Vice President, Sales for Sub-Sahara Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.
Speaking on behalf of the CDB Aviation, Head of Commercial for Africa, Europe and Middle-East, Peter Goodman said: “CDB Aviation is very grateful and proud to support the mission of Air Seychelles to be the airline of choice within the Indian Ocean.
“We believe the arrival of this new aircraft in Victoria will mark another important step along your continued path of growth and prosperity for this beautiful island nation.” he added.
Sharing his excitement with the audience, Air Seychelles Chief Executive Remco Althuis said: “The arrival of “Veuve” marks an important milestone in the history of Air Seychelles and following the intense preparation that started since 2017, today we are beyond proud to see the beautiful livery of Air Seychelles on the first A320neo in Africa.
“Reflecting the latest travel trends, the new generation aircraft will offer guests a comfortable experience, with access to seyStream wireless inflight entertainment platform, combined with the unique Creole warmth and hospitality of our dedicated Cabin Crew to strengthen Air Seychelles travelling proposition.”
Air Seychelles “seyStream” is a a WiFi device that allows passengers to use their own electronic devices to access a wide variety of free TV shows and movies. The platform also features a dedicated children’s channel and has a live 3D moving map of the aircraft’s route.
Chief Executive Remco Althuis expressed his gratitude to all the stakeholders who had been involved in the delivery of “Veuve” including colleagues from the Air Seychelles family, he thanked them for their hard work in making this project a reality.
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony on the ramp in front of the aircraft, respecting the religious traditions of Seychelles, “Veuve” was also blessed by Father Danny Elizabeth and Father David Alcindor, representing the interfaith community of Seychelles.
Air Seychelles — established in 1978 — is the national carrier to the 115-island nation in the western Indian Ocean. Besides inter-island flights and charters, Air Seychelles operates international flights to Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg, Mauritius and Mumbai.
Starting November 27th Air Seychelles will also begin a once-weekly six-hour flight from Maha to Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel.