Qatar Airways has rounded off its 2016 global route expansion with the launch of daily flights to the Seychelles, the 14th new destination on the airline’s route map this year and the third in Africa.
Flight QR678 touched down at Seychelles International Airport on Monday to a welcome ceremony attended by airport and government officials, together with local dignitaries. Qatar Airways chief commercial officer Hugh Dunleavy led a high-profile delegation on the inaugural direct flight from the airline’s operational hub in Doha.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker said, “We are sure that the Seychelles is going to be a popular option with many travellers from Europe and the Middle East looking for an exotic island getaway. With this new service, holidaymakers can seamlessly connect to the Seychelles via our state-of-the-art home and hub in Doha, Hamad International Airport.”
The destination comprises 115 tropical islands in the western Indian Ocean, located off the east coast of Africa. Its airport is located on the island of Mahé near the city of Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles.
The Seychelles' Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Alain St Ange, said: “The new services will add important value to the thriving tourism industry with huge potential to boost traffic from Europe and further expand the emerging Middle East and East Asia’s travelling markets, among others.”
The flight schedule offers a morning arrival in the Seychelles and evening departure, so that travellers can take full advantage of their time on the islands, the statement notes.
In a statement, Qatar Airways stressed that the Seychelles was key to its global network expansion strategy and continuing growth in Africa. The airline currently operates to 23 African gateways.
Qatar Airways’ 2016 route expansion has included Adelaide, Atlanta, Birmingham, Boston, Helsinki, Krabi, Los Angeles, Marrakech, Pisa, Ras Al Khaimah, Sydney, Windhoek, Yerevan and now the Seychelles. It plans to launch an array of destinations in 2017, including Auckland, New Zealand; Canberra, Australia; Dublin, Ireland; Las Vegas, the US; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Medan, Kualanamu International Airport, Indonesia; and Tabuk and Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.
The airline is encouraging passengers planning a getaway to the Seychelles to plan a stopover in Doha, with a new scheme offering visitors a free transit visa for up to 96 hours on their way to or from the final destination. One can visit Qatar Airways at http://www.qatarairways.com/us/en/qatar-transit-visa.page for more information.
The Seychelles-Doha daily flight schedule is as follows: QR678 departing Doha at 2.40am and arriving in the Seychelles at 8.50am, and QR679 departing the Seychelles at 7.25pm and arriving in Doha at 11.30pm. (Source)
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