Air Seychelles – The first airline receiving rights to overfly Saudi Arabia airspace to the Indian Ocean
Air Seychelles achieved another important milestone in its flights between Israel and Seychelles. The carrier became the first airline to receive permission from the Saudi Arabian authorities to overfly their territory on flights between the two countries. Saudi Arabia announced last month that flights operating to and from Israel would be allowed to use this airspace, which previously was highly restricted with few exemptions.
Sandy Benoiton, acting CEO of Air Seychelles said: “The granting of this airspace is very significant for the airline. The fact that the flight can now fly in a more direct manner and a higher altitude also means a reduction in fuel burn between 500kg-1000kg per flight. In addition to this important environmental benefit, it means the aircraft can now carry an additional twenty passengers per flight and eliminates the payload restriction previously employed. This ultimately will have a positive impact on the number of Israelis implementing their dream of a holiday in Seychelles – rightly perceived as The Paradise on earth.”
The first flight to access this new route was Wednesday 3 August, flight HM#21 between Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport and Seychelles International Airport. The flight’s Captain was Ronny Morel who commented: “It was a joy to operate today’s flight which overflew Jordan and Saudi Arabian airspace en route to Seychelles. The Saudi air traffic controllers were extremely helpful and allowed us to navigate with optimal conditions for passenger comfort.”
Air Seychelles currently flies three times per week between Tel Aviv and Seychelles non-stop, and an additional weekly flight to Seychelles via Male, Maldives.