Posted on: 29 October 2013 by Mark Howells
Viking Air and Air Seychelles have signed an agreement for three additional Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft to expand the regional carrier’s fleet.
After the successful entry into service of the carrier’s first Series 400, Air Seychelles has returned to Viking to triple their initial aircraft order and bring their fleet total to four Series 400 Twin Otters. The new aircraft, scheduled for delivery starting in 2015, will be configured as standard 19-passenger commercial landplanes and put into operation as domestic carriers throughout the Seychelles archipelago.
David Curtis, Viking president & CEO, noted, “Air Seychelles has been a long time and loyal operator of the Twin Otter, and was one of the first customers to commit to the new Viking Series 400 Twin Otter during development. They put a great deal of faith in Viking and our ability to deliver, and their return to Viking for additional aircraft speaks to Air Seychelles’ ongoing commitment and confidence in the Twin Otter Series 400.”
Curtis added, “We value the relationship we have developed with Air Seychelles, and its shareholder, Etihad Airways, and are honoured that Air Seychelles has made the Twin Otter Series 400 their aircraft of choice in the 19-passenger category.”
”These aircraft are designed for short take-offs and landings, and are robust in extreme conditions – something we have a lot of experience with in the Seychelles since the Twin Otters were first introduced here in the early 1980s,” commented Cramer Ball, Air Seychelles chief executive officer. “The new aircraft are the right tools at the right time for Air Seychelles.”
The new aircraft will be used for services between Mahé and Praslin, as well as other islands in the archipelago, including Bird, Denis and Frégate.
“Key to this fleet deal has been the growth in our domestic traffic since the beginning of 2013, up 15% for visitors and up 13% for local commuters, and we’re already seeing strong bookings going into next year,” added Ball. “We have also seen solid business with our charters. Working alongside our international and local tourism partners, as well as Viking Air, we look forward to a successful entry into service of these new aircraft.”