Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, and airberlin, Europe’s seventh largest airline, signed a historic codeshare agreement allowing customers from each of the two carriers to fly seamlessly between Germany and Seychelles via Abu Dhabi.
Initially, the agreement, which comes into effect immediately, will see Air Seychelles’ HM code placed on four of airberlin’s daily return services between Abu Dhabi and Berlin and Düsseldorf. The four weekly connections to Germany complement Air Seychelles’ existing 26 weekly codeshare connections with Etihad Airways to Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf.
airberlin will initially place its AB code on four of Air Seychelles’ weekly return flights to Abu Dhabi from the Seychelles, complementing the German carrier’s existing four codeshare connections to Seychelles with Etihad Airways providing passengers a daily connection from Germany to Mahé.
The two airlines are both members of the Etihad Airways strategic equity alliance, with the Abu Dhabi-based airline holding a 40 per cent stake in Air Seychelles and 29.21 per cent stake in airberlin.
The new codeshare arrangement will give European travellers immediate access to a total of 38 flights a week to Seychelles from four German hubs (Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich) on the combined airberlin, Air Seychelles and Etihad Airways network.
The total number of flights a week between Germany and Seychelles will leap to 54 flights a week when the new Etihad Airways and Air Seychelles schedules take effect from March 24.
The partnership between airberlin and Air Seychelles allows both companies’ passengers to book and travel with just one ticket for their entire journey via Abu Dhabi.
Cramer Ball, Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “More than 28,000 German tourists visited Seychelles in 2012, a 20 per cent increase over 2011. Germany is among our island’s fastest growing markets so these new air links are vital to our tourism sector, the Seychelles’ most important industry.
“The double-digit growth we are seeing from our new tourist markets supports our government’s vision for a national airline that connects Seychelles to key markets while delivering world-class service with unique Creole warmth.
“We are confident the new connections and seamless flight experience will appeal to German travellers and ultimately deliver a new source of revenue, continuing Air Seychelles progress toward sustainable profitability in 2013 and beyond.
“Our partnership with our 40 per cent shareholder, Etihad Airways, is driving new growth as we capitalize not only on economies of scale, but also their relationships with other airlines. We can work together to identify partners which will optimally expand the reach of Air Seychelles across the globe, airberlin being a prime example.”
Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, Chief Executive Officer of airberlin, said: "The codeshare agreement with Air Seychelles is equally important for airberlin in a number of ways. Firstly, we are able to make our route network even more attractive by enhancing the number of weekly codeshare connections to the Seychelles. Secondly, the new agreement once again illustrates the enormous potential that the partnership with Etihad Airways offers in terms of the joint marketing of the route network and the targeted use of synergies across all areas."Subject to regulatory approval, the airlines plan to expand the scope of the agreement to include more destinations on their respective networks and implement frequent flyer program reciprocity.