By Joanna Nicette
Three international airlines will resume flights to Seychelles after the country re-opens for commercial traffic beginning of August, a top government official said on Thursday.
The finance minister, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, made the announcement in a presentation on the economy to media houses chaired by President Danny Faure.
“Etihad Airways will be doing two flights per week — on Mondays and Fridays. Ethiopian Airlines will also make two flights a week. Both these two airlines will resume their Seychelles operations when the country re-opens its borders,” said Loustau-Lalanne.
He added that Swiss airline Edelweiss has expressed its intentions to fly to Seychelles as from September this year.
The Seychelles’ national carrier, Air Seychelles, will be flying to Dubai twice a week also starting from August 1.
Meanwhile, the German government has retracted its decision to allow its citizens to travel to Seychelles after the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
Ninety-one seafarers from the Spanish tuna fishing fleet operating in Seychelles tested positive for COVID-19 out of whom as of Tuesday 24 had recovered. The archipelago in the western Indian Ocean has 73 active cases — 67 seafarers and six Seychellois.
The President told the media that the decision of the government of Germany can be reviewed.
The finance minister said that the German airline Condor has tentatively set December as the month to resume its weekly flight to Seychelles.
Other main tourism markets of Seychelles — France, Italy and England — have all been badly affected by COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown has resulted in a drastic drop in overseas travel. France’s government has already given the green light to its citizen to travel to Seychelles.
For the reopening of the Seychelles to commercial passenger flights on Aug. 1, a series of strict guidelines by the Public Health Authority has been set for all tourism establishment operators. These tourism businesses must be in conformity with those guidelines to be granted permission to welcome visitors to their premises.
Already five big hotels in the southwest of Mahe, the main island will welcome around 400 visitors from the United Arab Emirates next week for a six-week stay in Seychelles.