FARNBOROUGH: Air Seychelles eyes new Madagascar and Mumbai routes

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Air Seychelles is in the final stages of securing regulatory clearances to begin flights to Mumbai and Madagascar, as chief executive Manoj Papa says the carrier is “ready to grow”.

“Mumbai is a destination where we see great demand from the markets on both sides. We are currently finalising the relevant regulatory approvals. Also [we] look to fly within the Vanilla Islands, including Madagascar,” he tells Flightglobal.

The Mahe-based airline is also interested in operating to “other points in Africa”, but Papa emphasises that the carrier would seek to expand into the region through its partnership with Etihad and codeshare partners rather than organic growth.

Additional frequencies to Mauritius, to which the airline operates three times a week from Mahe, will be possible from the fourth quarter with the arrival of a leased Airbus A320, Papa says.

The carrier has expanded recently with the resumption of flights to Paris earlier this month.

The carrier will receive the first of three new Viking Air DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otters on 16 July, the second on 29 July and the third in the third quarter of 2015, all to be used to expand the domestic inter-island network, Papa says.