The new aircraft will be used for services between Mahé and Praslin, as well as other islands in the archipelago, including Bird, Denis and Frégate.
All three aircraft deliveries are scheduled for mid-2015, with an option for earlier delivery if aircraft become available. The airline currently operates one Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 and three Series 300 aircraft.
The multi-million dollar fleet announcement was made at a joint Air Seychelles-Viking Air press conference this morning at Mahé International Airport, and comes as Air Seychelles marks 35 years in business.
Present to share details of the new fleet order were Air Seychelles Chief Executive Officer, Cramer Ball, Viking Air President and Chief Executive Officer, David C. Curtis, the Seychelles Minister for Home Affairs and Transport and Chairman of Air Seychelles, Joel Morgan.
Cramer Ball said: “On the eve of our 35th anniversary, I’m delighted to mark a major milestone in our carrier’s development with this historic fleet order. This announcement is testament to the success of our turnaround strategy, which has seen an expansion in both our international and domestic services, and the synergies derived from working closely with our equity partner, Etihad Airways. Once delivered, the new aircraft will replace our three existing DHC-6 Series 300 Twin Otters, forming the backbone of a younger Air Seychelles domestic fleet. The aircraft will secure the future of our inter-island services, Seychelles tourism and our economy.”
David C. Curtis, said: “Air Seychelles has been a long time and loyal operator of the Twin Otter aircraft, and was one of the first customers to commit to the new Viking Series 400 Twin Otter during development. They put a great deal of faith in Viking and our ability to deliver, and their return to Viking for additional aircraft speaks to Air Seychelles’ on-going commitment and confidence in the Twin Otter Series 400. We value the relationship we have developed with Air Seychelles, and are honoured that such a world-class organisation has made the Twin Otter Series 400 their aircraft of choice in the 19-passenger category.”