Etihad investment pays dividends as Air Seychelles returns to profit

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Air Seychelles has reversed three years of losses, recording a full-year net profit of $1 million for the year to 31 December, a little over a year since Gulf carrier Etihad Airways bought a 40% stake in the struggling airline.

The airline carried 248,000 passengers on its domestic and international network in 2012, it says.

Etihad has a five-year management contract with Air Seychelles and over the past 12 months it has expanded the latter's operation with 19 codeshares and four weekly flights to Abu Dhabi.

Chief executive of Air Seychelles, Cramer Ball, says: "We are going to continue to build our capacity with a second Airbus A330-200, allowing us to start flights to Hong Kong to capture the lucrative Asian leisure market in March 2013. We will also be increasing the frequency of flights to Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg and Mauritius."

During the year, the airline introduced an A330-200 aircraft and wet-leased an Etihad Airways' Airbus A320 to operate on the Mauritius route.