The arrival marks the twice-weekly direct flight to Durban from Seychelles. Speaking shortly after the arrival‚ Maurice Loustan Lalanne Seychelles minister for tourism and civil aviation said SA is a very important source for inbound tourism.
The number of tourists has tripled from 4000 in 2000 to 12 000 today. Lalanne said the direct route launch coincided with the 25th anniversary of bilateral agreements signed with SA.
He said in addition to tourism‚ the new route would enhance trade ties and investments between both countries. Brigette Gasa‚ chairperson of the Dube Trade Port‚ said the launch was the result of a route development strategy implemented a few years ago.
“Within a short while‚ this strategy has already resulted in partnerships with 10 airlines.” Acting head of department for economic development‚ tourism and environmental affairs Sibusiso Myeza said the touchdown marked a significant economic opportunity for both countries.