Indian Ocean gets first 4-star certified airline in Air Seychelles
Besides clinching the 4-star rating and moving to second place among African airlines, Seychelles’ national carrier has also bagged third place among Best Airline Staff in Africa and ranks fourth in the Most Improved category. (Image: Air Seychelles)
In one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the world of aviation, after being ranked 133rd in the world only two years ago, Air Seychelles has clinched the prestigious 4-star rating from leading airlines review organization, Skytrax.
Not only does this make Seychelles’ national carrier the only airline in the Indian Ocean to receive this honor, but has also allowed it to leapfrog to the position of the continent’s second best commercial aviation player after South African Airways.
Besides Air Seychelles and South African Airways, there are only 35 others worldwide – including aviation majors such as British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa and Emirates – that meet the rigorous quality criteria of the Skytrax 4-Star airline ranking.
Cramer Ball, Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer, noted that the new ranking places Air Seychelles among the very best airlines in the world and confirms the significant progress the national carrier has made during the last two years.
Dedicating the award to the staff and their equity partner, Etihad Airways, Ball highlighted the hard work that had gone in for reshaping their offering while retaining ‘the very unique Creole warmth and hospitality’ for which Air Seychelles is renowned.
A colorful unveiling ceremony was held at the Seychelles International Airport terminal on January 3 to announce this significant milestone in the airline’s history.
The official Skytrax Airlines Star ranking by the London-based airline ranking major is universally recognized as an independent and creditable measure of the service quality of an airline.
Air Seychelles was awarded its four-star rating after a rigorous auditing exercise by Skytrax in recent months. In June 2013, the airline leapt from 133 to 56 worldwide.
Air Seychelles’ Chairman and Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan noted that the airline has met its financial targets, achieving profitability in 2012, and is on track to build on that success.
Feting the occasion as a remarkable 35th anniversary for Air Seychelles, he mentioned that the airline had welcomed their second Airbus A330-200, launched flights to Hong Kong and signed four new codeshare partnerships.
Besides clinching the 4-star rating and moving to second place among African airlines, Seychelles’ national carrier has also bagged third place among Best Airline Staff in Africa and ranks fourth in the Most Improved category.
To understand the significance of the 4-star rating in the aviation sector, it may be noted that only seven international airlines – Malaysia Airlines, All Nippon Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Hainan Airlines, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines – qualify for a five-star rating.
Looking at the next layer of commercial aviation companies after the elite club, others such as Alitalia, American Airlines, Condor, Air Berlin, Air Austral and Air Mauritius form part of the three-star rated category.
Air Mauritius has recently entered into a decade-long commercial agreement with Emirates Airlines, which bagged top honors at the World Airline Awards held in June last year, and can be expected to leverage these commercial ties to improve its reach and service.
Air Seychelles was established in 1978 and began long-haul service in 1983. The airline currently offers international flights to Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg, Hong Kong and Mauritius. Air Seychelles also offers more than 200 domestic scheduled flights a week throughout the archipelago, as well as domestic charter services.
As the national airline of Seychelles, Air Seychelles is a pillar of tourism, the island nation’s strongest and growing economic sector. The airline maintains a strategic partnership with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and 40 per cent stakeholder.
Source: Company Website