Air Seychelles is making a comeback to the island nation of Mauritius in October, following an 18-month absence. The airline will begin flights on October 3rd, thanks to the announcement of the full reopening of the borders from October 1st. Air Seychelles will fly its A320neo on the route with twice-weekly services going forward.
Mauritius is fully open from October 1st
Mauritius has been welcoming tourists under its Phase 1 reopening since July 15th. This arrangement means guests are welcome, but only to stay in one of its 14 chosen ‘resort bubbles.’ Visitors have had to stay at their chosen hotel, using its swimming pool and beach, pending a negative PCR test before arrival. Only those who were staying for more than seven days could take a second PCR test and be free to explore the island.
But, from October 1st, 2021, Mauritius will enter its Phase 2 reopening. This will allow fully vaccinated travelers to enter the country without any restrictions, although they still need to take a PCR test within 72 hours of travel. This makes the island more attractive, as visitors will be free to explore at their whim, regardless of how long they plan to stay.
To accommodate a likely resurgence in travel demand, Air Seychelles will be returning to the island from October 3rd, 2021. The airline previously served Mauritius with regularly scheduled services but ceased operations around 18 months ago. The airline has been flying to the island since June, but only on ad-hoc charter services. The full reinstatement of its scheduled services will be a boon for travelers, as the island is incredibly reliant on connecting traffic, mainly from India, which remains closed.
Flights will take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
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A neo arrival for Mauritius
Air Seychelles operates a modest fleet comprised of just two A320neos and two Twin Otters. The last time it regularly flew to Mauritius, it was with its A320ceos, but these have recently been upgraded. The first neo arrived in late 2019, while the second came in March 2020.
While collecting the second A320neo was a challenge in itself, given that Europe was in lockdown at the time, another challenge was presented, in that the brand-new plane could not find any passengers to fly. Instead, the A320neo, with its brand-new passenger cabins, was resigned to flying cargos of PPE, vaccines, and even fish.
The pair have been flying some passengers too, increasingly in the most recent months. Data from RadarBox.com shows that both aircraft have been focussing on destinations such as Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, and Dubai in the past few months, operating an average of 25 flights per month.
Air Seychelles was the first African airline to take an A320neo. Each have 12 business and 156 economy class seats, with an all-new cabin designed by LIFT Strategic Design to reflect the warmth and beauty of Seychelles. Cabin crew uniforms have been completely redesigned too, including a scarf and tie designed by Alyssa Adams, a prominent artist from Seychelles.
All in, this looks like an excellent way to jet between two of the most beautiful island nations in the world.