27th February 2015 - Seychelles and Italy strengthen air services rights - A modern air service agreement between Seychelles and one of the world’s leading tourism market; Italy, was signed yesterday at the Seychelles International Airport.

Representatives of both the Seychelles and the Italian Civil Aviation Authorities, have been meeting in Seychelles for two days to review commercial arrangements, and improve on the one which was originally signed in 1984.

The Seychelles delegation has been headed by Mr. Gilbert Faure from the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, and the Italian delegation by Mrs. Maria Cristina Francolini, the Director of International Relation Division, from the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. Also present were representatives of Air Seychelles, the country’s national carrier.

Stronger cooperation between airlines from the two countries, enhanced capacity requirement for flights between multiple points in Italy and Seychelles including charters, flexible provisions for operations including aircraft leasing, tariff liberalization and an adaptable route schedule with integrated traffic rights provisions are some focal points that will be discussed between the two parties.

Mr. Gilbert Faure, the SCAA Chief Executive said that the signing of this vital agreement is to promote the possibilities for improved services in aviation between Seychelles and Italy in the future.

It will give Seychellois travelers more air access to different parts of Italy and provide Italian tourists, as well as other Europeans with another option when travelling to Seychelles.”

Seychelles and Italy have traditionally cultivated very good relationship in several sectors, including tourism. Italy has for several years, and to date remains one of the top five destinations where tourists visiting Seychelles originate from, it is the type of partnership that Seychelles as a tourism dependent nation and a net importing country need to promote with destinations such as Italy, particularly in the aftermath of the European economic difficulties.”  Mr. Faure said.

The new agreement will also maintain provisions previously agreed upon such as multi-designation of airlines which will permit several airlines in both countries to benefit from the set commercial aspect.

Mrs. Francolini who signed the agreement on behalf of the Italians’ Ministry of infrastructure and Transport said; “It was our greatest wish to come here and achieve our goal to renew our main air service agreement, giving our airlines new opportunities and better connection, so as to improve on the number of Italian tourists vacationing in the Seychelles”.

The negotiation was supported by the Italian honorary council to Seychelles and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joël Morgan said: “The new agreement with Italy is geared to affirm the commitment of the Government of Seychelles to consolidate growth from our traditional European market in our continuous engagement to open Seychelles skies to the rest of the World.” 

“The liberalization of the air services framework with Italy will go a long way to consolidate current air services operations through Alitalia’s virtual network to Seychelles with Air Seychelles as well as Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi. It calls for enhanced capacity with the aim to alleviate some of the challenges that our tourism industry faces from time to time or concerns raised by some in the industry of travel to the Seychelles through major hubs.” added Minister Morgan.

After the signing of the agreement, the two delegations exchanged gifts as a sign of appreciation.

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