Founded in 1978, Air Seychelles began as a small domestic carrier doing short island hops. In 1982, the airline expanded to long-haul operations with service to Frankfurt, London, and Paris initially using Boeing 707 aircraft before replacing with a more modern fleet of B767s in 1989.
Financial difficulties lead Etihad Airways to invest more than $45 Million in February 2012, acquiring 40% stake in the airline. A complete reorganization of Air Seychelles followed and the ageing 767 fleet was replaced by newer A330-200 aircraft.
During the initial restructuring period, Air Seychelles had dropped all flying to Europe, instead feeding the Etihad Airways hub at Abu Dhabi. On July 2nd, 2014, after a two year absence from the Paris market, the carrier re-launched direct service from Charles de Gaulle airport to Mahé. The route is currently service thrice weekly.
This month Flight-Report presents Air Seychelles through four separate reports showcasing different products. Paris to Mahé in long-haul Economy class and the return flight to Paris in Business class.
As a member of the Etihad Airways Partners alliance, Air Seychelles operates from Terminal 2C at CDG.
Passengers holding elite status from any Frequent flyer program within the Etihad Partners alliance and Business class passengers have access to the Etihad Airways lounge, which was recently ranked 3rd best Business class lounge at CDG, by Flight-Report.com members: [French] Infographie #3
There is a large choice of newspapers and magazines on offer in French, English, and other languages.
Excellent service in the lounge includes hot towel service.
The all day buffet offers a selection of salads and mezze
Some items from the buffet with champagne. Deutz and Lanson are the two respectable choices on offer.
Hot items from the menu are now available outside of normal lunch or dinner hours. A warm salmon bread with a cheese sauce is available outside of those hours.
The dessert menu is available all day, however.
A nicely presented Pêche melba
Today, our aircraft is parked in the “cherry” (so called because of its shape) of Terminal 2A.
Air Seychelles codeshares with Air France on this route as flight number AF3980. In August 2015, Air Seychelles signed a codeshare agreement with the French flag carrier to add 6 major French provincial cities to its network: Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nice, and Toulouse.
Today’s Airbus A330-200, wearing the beautiful Air Seychelles livery, is registered in the United Arab Emirates as A6-EYZ. This aircraft is baptized Vallée de Mai.
Some views of the Business class cabin, which will be reviewed on the SEZ-CDG report, with 18 full-flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration.
The configuration in economy is a comfortable 2-4-2. The 2-seats by the windows are perfect for couples.
The color palette of the cabin is somewhat generic, with only the headrest covers to remind you that you are flying Air Seychelles.
On each seat in Economy class you will find an amenity kit (yes, in Economy!), a headset for the IFE (In-flight Entertainment), a pillow and blanket.
It seems that Air Seychelles does not have their own branded amenity kits as these are clearly Etihad kits.
To our right, yet another member of the Etihad Airways Partners alliance, Jet Airways.
And then, of course, there’s Etihad Airways
A paper menu is distributed—a rarity in Economy class these days.
And we’re off for 10 hours of flying!
View of the first economy cabin.
Let’s check out the IFE by starting with the headset. The quality is quite nice for Economy.
The remote control for this Panasonic system is not from the most updated IFE systems available.
The IFE system is just ok—no touchscreen, average picture quality, and, unfortunately for AvGeeks, no moving map…gasp!
On the other hand, there is a pretty decent selection of movies, including the latest blockbusters. Most programming is available in both French and English.
One nice surprise is that there are 4 channels of live TV.
Some information about the airline
Air Seychelles also offers another option for entertainment with WiFi available on board the long-haul fleet.
Seat pocket contents include the Air Seychelles magazine and the duty-free catalogue.
A refreshing towlette is offered before the meal.
Followed by distribution of Seychelles immigration and customs cards.
The service begins with pre-meal drinks.
Gin & Tonic
The sun sets as dinner service gets under way.
The menu indicates that there are three meal options: chicken, fish, or pasta.
Air Seychelles uses real silverware, which is a nice touch in Economy class.
Appetizer: Vegetable Salad
Main course: Bakes Hake fish with steamed basmati rice, green beans, and spicy sauce.
Dessert: zesty lemon posset
After the meal trays are gathered, there is a coffee and tea service.
About an hour out from landing, the cabin lights come back on for breakfast.
Butter and Cream Cheese Strawberry Yoghurt Croissant and pastry
Tea or Coffee
Seats in the exit rows have unlimited legroom.
We approach our destination in the early morning hours
And here we are in Victoria, capital of the Island of Mahé.
One of Air Seychelles’ 6 Twin Otters.
There are no jet bridges in Mahé. Passengers disembark via airstairs.
Last view of our Airbus A330
The Air Seychelles fleet is composed of 6 Twin Otters, 1 Short 360, 2 Airbus A320s and 2 Airbus A330s.
International destinations include Abu Dhabi, Antananarivo, Dar es Salaam, Hong-Kong, Johannesburg, Mauritius, Mumbai, and Paris.
Roudtrips from Paris to the Seychelles in Economy class starting at 747€
Air Seychelles offers the most non-stop flights to/from the Seychelles. The schedule from Paris is ideal with an evening departure and morning arrival allowing visitors to the Seychelles to enjoy a full day upon arrival.
The Etihad Airways lounge in Paris is excellent. The Etihad Airways Partners Alliance gives Air Seychelles Frequent Flyers and Business class passengers access to this lounge.
The comfort on board is quite good with the A330’s generous 2-4-2 configuration. The cabin, could use some updating, however.
A very pleasant bilingual (French, English) cabin crew.
Catering was generally good, especially the dinner. The Continental style breakfast, however, was a bit lacking and could use a hot option.
- Non-stop flight from Paris with good schedule - Use of the Etihad Airways lounge in CDG - Cabin in 2-4-2 configuration - Three dinner options - Selection of movies in English and French
- The overall look of the cabin is generic and could use freshening up - Older generation IFE with no moving map - Breakfast too light for a 10+ hour flight
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