Qatar Airways has rounded off its 2016 global route expansion on a high note with the launch of daily flights to the idyllic islands of 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 12 December to a welcome ceremony attended by airport and government officials, together with local dignitaries.Dr Hugh Dunleavy, Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, led a high-profile delegation on the inaugural direct flight from the airline’s operational hub in Doha.
Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, said:
Our aim is to provide our passengers with greater choice and variety when selecting their holiday destinations. 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. Visitors can experience the Vallée de Mai Nature Preserve on the island of Praslin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens on Mahé, or, of course, enjoy the white sand beaches the islands are known for.
Alain St Ange, The Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, said:
We are happy to have Qatar Airways, the world’s five-star airline, fly to Seychelles. The array of scattered islands with their lush green natural landscapes, white sandy beaches, and turquoise blue sea promise visitors the adventure of a lifetime.’
‘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 amongst others.’
St Ange added:
Qatar Airways, which is an award-winning airline, will give more choices to passengers travelling to and from our beautiful islands in terms of service, airfares, transfer airport experience as well as routes.’
The Seychelles is key to Qatar Airways’ global network expansion strategy and its continuing growth in Africa. The airline currently operates to 23 African gateways, including the recently launched service to the Namibian capital of Windhoek, which joined the airline’s route map in September 2016.
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. The airline plans to launch an array of exciting destinations in 2017, including Auckland, which will be the world’s longest commercial flight, Canberra, the airline’s fifth destination in Australia; Dublin, Ireland; Las Vegas, the airline’s 11th destination in the United States; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Medan, Kualanamu International Airport, the airline’s third destination in Indonesia; and Tabuk and Yanbu, the ninth and tenth destinations in Saudi Arabia.
Passengers planning a getaway to the Seychelles are encouraged to plan a stopover in Doha, with a new transit visa scheme offering visitors a free transit visa for up to 96 hours on your way to or from your final destination. Combine a quick visit to Doha, with its historic sites and five-star shopping and resorts, with a Seychelles dream holiday – only available to Qatar Airways passengers. Visit Qatar Airways at qatarairways.com/us/en/qatar-transit-visa.page for more information.
Seychelles – Doha Daily Flight Schedules:
Doha (DOH) to Seychelles (SEZ) QR678 departs: 2:40 am arrives: 8:50 am
Seychelles (SEZ) to Doha (DOH) QR679 departs: 7:25 pm arrives: 11:30 pm