17th September 2014

Seychelles and India has acceded to a modern air services framework, as a symbol of the longstanding friendship and the prevailing commercial interest in the field of air transportation that exist between the two countries.

The air services agreement (ASA) was signed yesterday in New Delhi by Mr Anil Srivastava, Joint Secretary of the Government of India and Mr Gilbert Faure, Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, following discussions between the two authorities. The Seychelles delegation was supported by Mr. Waven William, the High Commissioner of Seychelles in India, Ms. Patsy Moustache of Seychelles High Commission, and national Airline; Air Seychelles’ was represented General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Alan Renaud .

The agreement marks a milestone in the historical relations that exist between the two countries dating as far back as 1976, putting in place a revamped arrangement with the necessary in-built flexibilities to facilitate airline operation. Both Air Seychelles and Air India have in the past provided direct connections between the two countries.

“The primary purpose of this arrangement is to rebuild this air link be it by an airline from Seychelles or India or both” says Mr. Gilbert Faure. “Today, through the conclusion of this new framework, the two countries have confirmed their reengagement in the field of civil aviation for the betterment of the travelling public” he further added.

India is an emerging tourism market with vast opportunities for inbound cultural as well as health tourism and visiting friends and relatives traffic outbound. The destination provides immense opportunities for commerce in goods such as medications, essential oils, spices, and furniture as well as services. In terms of tourism, an average of 2,500 visitors per year are recorded from India. Since the beginning of the year, compared to the same period last year, Seychelles have recorded a 9% growth in terms of visitors arrival from India, compared to the same period last year.

“The relationship between Seychelles an India is one which is natural, strategic, historical and long standing. The two countries have forged excellent link and cooperation in multiple sectors, ranging from defense and security, economic development, environment and renewable energy, education and training, human resources development, infrastructure, transport and connectivity to health as well as youth and sports” says Mr Joel Morgan, Minister of Home Affairs and Transport.

The agreement between Seychelles and India is the second agreement signed this week, in line with the efforts being launched by the SCAA under the guidance of Ministry of Home Affairs and Transport, to liberalize air services to Seychelles hence encouraging more airlines operations and enhancing connectivity to multifarious destinations with the aim of boosting tourism and business traffic.

The SCAA has concluded altogether five ASA since the beginning of the year, and is expected to sign a few more during the ICAO Air Services Negotiation (ICAN) event due to take place in November this year.

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