Almasalla- Arab Travel Portal News –The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) has expressed the desire the see further growth of its relationship with Ethiopian Airlines, for the betterment of both the airline and the island destination.
The Chief Executive of the STB, Mrs. Sherin Francis on Tuesday met with the outgoing Ethiopian Airlines’ area manager for Seychelles, Ms. Meseret Tekalign and her successor Ms. Meron Tsegaye.
The meeting held at the STB headquarters at the Espace Building was attended by STB’s Deputy Chief Executive Ms. Jenifer Sinon and Senior Marketing Executive Mrs. Amia Jovanovic-Desir.
Mrs Francis took the opportunity to thank Ms Tekalign for her dedication and continuous collaboration with STB during her time at the helm of the Ethiopian Airlines’ office in Seychelles.
“You have been very proactive and you made every effort to understand our market, which is more of a leisure traveller market and you also worked very closely with STB supporting our events including the familiarization and media visits,” said Mrs Francis.
“We have so much airlines flying to Seychelles now but Ethiopian Airlines managed to find its own little niche, you have your group of clientele and you are growing that. At the end of the day Seychelles benefits,” she added.
Ethiopian Airlines — Ethiopia’s national carrier — is described as the fastest-growing airline and the largest on the African continent.
The airline, which uses its strategic hub in Addis Ababa to fly to Seychelles and beyond, started with three weekly flights to Seychelles for just over a year, before withdrawing on 1st March, 2014. The airline resumed the thrice-weekly services at the end of September 2014.
Ms Tekalign took up her position as Ethiopian Airline’s area manager based in Seychelles shortly after, in October 2014.
Now that she is coming to an end of her almost three-year tenure, Ms. Tekalign also expressed appreciation for the support received from STB’s local and overseas staff, in giving visibility to the airline.
Ms Tekalign who will be leaving Seychelles at the end of July to take up a new role assigned by Ethiopian Airlines has expressed hope that the same support would be extended to the new area manager Ms Tsegaye.
For her part Ms Tsegaye who has already taken up her new role, has given her commitment that she will be following in the footsteps of her predecessor and see what more can be added to the service.
After adding a fourth flight to the Seychelles route in October 2015 and a fifth flight in December 2016, Ethiopian Airlines recently announced that it will be adding a sixth weekly flight to the island destination as of December 2017.
The STB Chief Executive remarked that more frequency also means more flexibility for travellers, while highlighting the fact that Ethiopian Airlines also supports the Seychelles’ Chinese tourism market as it provides good connections to the Chinese travellers, especially those travelling in groups.
Mrs Francis has highlighted STB’s intention to seek further collaboration with the Ethiopian carrier in the near future, to support twin-centre holiday packages targeting specifically the U.S. market.
Ethiopian Airlines has already recorded a few firsts in Seychelles. It was the first airline to bring a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft the island nation’s shores in 2015, while in 2016 the airline landed Africa’s first and most technologically advanced A350 in the Seychelles.