Air Seychelles & SriLankan Airlines sign new codeshare partnership

Air Seychelles (HM) has announced a new codeshare partnership with SriLankan Airlines (UL) to offer customers flying between Seychelles and Sri Lanka access to more destinations. The announcement comes nearly a year after Air Seychelles launched flights to the South Asian country.

Access to over 20 new destinations

Starting April 20, 2024, passengers traveling between Mahé, the largest island of the Seychelles archipelago, and Colombo, the most populous city in Sri Lanka, can enjoy enhanced travel options and better connectivity. Air Seychelles customers will have access to over 20 destinations, including the “much-requested” Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, as well as popular cities in India, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Photo: Air Seychelles

Similarly, SriLankan Airlines customers will be able to fly between Colombo and Mahé. A codeshare partnership allows the two national carriers to place their codes on each other’s flights, enabling travelers to continue their journey seamlessly using a single booking and with their bags checked in all the way to their final destinations.

Passengers can also book their flights with both carriers through online travel agencies and local travel agents. Speaking about the new partnership, SriLankan Airlines CEO Richard Nuttall said,

“We are pleased to boost our codeshare network and presence in the African region through this new partnership. We look forward to working with Air Seychelles to provide our customers even more African destination options in the coming years.”

Nine months of flights to Sri Lanka

The codeshare partnership comes nine months after Air Seychelles launched non-stop flights to Sri Lanka. The inaugural flight landed at Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) on June 21, 2023. The airline operates two weekly flights from Mahé to Colombo with its Airbus A320neo aircraft.

The new connection significantly reduced the travel time between the two cities from up to 12 hours to approximately four hours. Air Seychelles and SriLankan initially signed an interline agreement that introduced multiple cities within the Southeast Asia region to the local market’s choice of destinations. Air Seychelles CEO Sandy Benoiton added,

“Now that we have been flying to Colombo for over 9 months, the twice-weekly flights have proven successful. The next step to solidifying our relationship is with this codeshare, allowing even more passengers the convenience of a single ticket to more points served by our partner in Asia and Australia.”

Last year, the carrier also signed a codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways. Air Seychelles’ international network comprises five destinations in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, serving Johannesburg, Mauritius, Colombo, Mumbai, and Tel Aviv from its base in Mahé. It also operates up to 30 daily roundtrips to Praslin, the second-largest island in the archipelago, as well as various charters to other islands with its twin otters. SriLankan Airlines flies from Colombo to 36 international destinations in 20 countries.

Promoting tourism in Seychelles

Last month, the Seychellois national carrier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tourism Seychelles to promote the country as a premier tourist destination. The partnership aims to enhance visibility and attract more visitors to Seychelles by leveraging joint activities in targeted markets. The two parties will collaborate closely on various marketing initiatives under the agreement.

According to Tourism Seychelles, the country has received about 105,457 visitors as of the 14th week of 2024. Last year, tourism revenue was estimated to be $960 million. Eight airlines currently have scheduled passenger flights to Seychelles, including Aeroflot, Arkia, Condor, Emirates, Etihad, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways (shown above in Mahé), and Qatar Airways.