The Seychelles International Airport will witness another historical event on Friday February 27th, when it proudly welcomes the first ever Dreamliner aircraft, a Boeing 787-8 belonging to Ethiopian Airlines.
The aircraft will be arriving to Seychelles from Addis Ababa, with over 100 passengers on board. For this auspicious occasion dignitaries as well as top officials from the Seychelles Tourism Board, the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) and Masons Travel representatives (Ethiopian Airlines handling agent in Seychelles) will be at the airport to welcome passengers having had this once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Seychelles on board of a Dreamliner aircraft.
Ethiopian Airlines, which is Ethiopia’s national air carrier, resumed flights to Seychelles in October last year, after a short break. Its current three weekly flights to Seychelles archipelago is usually operated by either a Boeing 737 or 738, which are much smaller aircrafts. On average both aircrafts carry a 64% passenger load factor to Seychelles. Ethiopian Airlines currently has 11 Dreamliner aircrafts in its fleet, with the latest one delivered in May last year. The Dreamliner’s voyage to Seychelles is a trip to promote the airline as one of the biggest in Africa.
Since its construction in 1971, the Seychelles International Airport has seen many interesting, huge and most expensive aircraft - such as Hercules in June 1970 and the Concorde in June 1990 but it is the first time that a Dreamliner will land on its runway.
The SCAA Chief Executive Mr. Gilbert Faure says “It will be a great privilege for us to witness and welcome the arrival of a Dreamliner at our airport.”
“The Ethiopian Airlines is an African carrier which is making significant progress on the continent, going the extra mile to ensure that tourists are able to travel to the region in more comfortable and technologically advanced aircrafts.”
Mr. Faure says that ‘though the Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner is making a one off trip to Seychelles, we welcome such initiative and encourages any other airlines to also promote great comfort, safety and good services on the Seychelles route and on our side, we will keep working hand in hand with them to make that possible.’
The Ethiopian Airlines area manager in Seychelles, Mrs. Meseret Tekalign says, “The Dreamliner is a testimony that Ethiopian Airlines is one of the biggest in Africa and we wanted to promote that Ethiopia is more than what people think.”
“This modern aircraft will for the first time ever touch the soil of one of the most beautiful part of our continent, the Seychelles.”
“The promotional flight will let the world know that we are back in Seychelles and we are taking this vital destination seriously.” says Mrs. Tekalign
The Dreamliner which has a seating capacity for 278 passengers is expected to leave Seychelles on the same day with over 200 travelers onboard.