Published on : Friday, March 14, 2014
For the past several weeks, meetings with airlines providing service to the Seychelles have been organized by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Transport, affording an opportunity for respective airline executives and the Minister responsible for Transport, Minister Joel Morgan, to meet and discuss issues and concerns they may have on the airline business in general for Seychelles and the region.
The airline industry globally continues to be fluid as companies look to regain financial strength either through mergers; strategic financial investments in other airlines; membership to global airline alliances as seen in the USA, Europe, and Asia; and within the region further expansion to open up the Asian markets.
As a global business, the airline industry has seen its fortunes rise on aggressive promotions and better managing route and seat capacity.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade group for the world`s biggest airlines, has said that it expects industry profits to hit a record $19.7 billion in 2014, an increase of more than 50% on the $12.9 billion estimate made for 2013.
Despite the headline number, the airline business remains vulnerable, “to oil-price shocks, accidents, and terrorism.
And profit per passenger according to the IATA expects it to be less than $6 in 2014,” this according to the world respected “Economist” magazine.
Seychelles, despite being appreciated as a “must-visit destination,” still remains a small player as far as airlines are concerned.
It is for this reason, even as Seychelles as a destination seeks modest gains on improving visitor arrivals for 2013 that the services on offer must be at a minimum above the rest within the region when benchmarked.
“It is my intention to understand fully the concerns of the airline companies flying into Seychelles, for we value their presence and the exposure and possibilities that they create.
I am receptive to ideas that they may have on improving the product on offer at our airports, primarily the international arrivals and departures, as well as our domestic operations both on Mahe and on Praslin, or what they perceive as hindrances to their operations here if and where they exist,” said the Minister.