The airline added new destinations like Almaty in Kazakhstan. (Air Seychelles)
Air Seychelles has described the year 2022 as one that was filled with determination, resilience and hard work, the airline said on Monday.
Recovering from the debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which brought uncertainties to the aviation industry, as well as coming out of administration in November, the airline said it can now review its performance for 2022 with a more optimistic outlook.
The acting chief executive, Sandy Benoiton, said, “We’re excited to report on the strength of the commercial and operational performance at Air Seychelles. Even though 2022 was still subject to the effects of Omicron in quarter 1, the team achieved great results that we can all be proud of.”
He added that Air Seychelles has returned to all of its previous markets, and added new destinations like Almaty in Kazakhstan.
“Additionally, we continue to diversify our international flying unit with a strong focus on ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) and charters, helping us to balance any risk associated with the economy, strong oil prices, or any COVID-related travel downturn. We look forward to releasing our financial performance for 2022 in the near future,” he said.
Besides its scheduled network consisting of Mumbai, Mauritius, Johannesburg and Tel Aviv, Air Seychelles‘ A320NEO fleet covered 35 destinations in 2022 through chartered flights carrying passengers across the globe. These included London, Beijing, Bucharest and Dakar among others.
Air Seychelles registered an increase of 172 percent in passengers last year, flying a total of 74,272 passengers on 851 flights from January to December, compared to 27,319 passengers on 361 flights during 2021.
Johannesburg remains the airline’s most popular market as of the end of December 2022, with the Israeli city of Tel Aviv coming in a close second.
The national carrier made its mark in Kazakhstan in late December 2022 with the launch of a seasonal route between the central Asian city of Almaty and Seychelles, scheduled to run through March 2023.
There are 18 round-trip flights in the winter series, with the potential to carry over 6,000 passengers.
For 2022, marked improvement was also recorded by the cargo section and Air Seychelles saw an increase of 35 percent in cargo handled, combining both imports and exports. It totalled 10,043 tonnes compared to 7,430 tonnes in 2021.
However, for the same year, the On-Time Performance saw a slight decrease of 2 percent.
“In unusual times when air travel was severely impacted such as the Covid-19 era, uncertainties caused ground-handling companies to lower their headcount so much that when the surge of the post-pandemic flights rolled in, it was a challenge to keep up. This affected departures hence causing reactionary delays on other flights,” said Air Seychelles.
The Seychelles national carrier has been flying for over 45 years and is owned by the government.