Air Seychelles has reported a net profit of $1 million for the 2012 financial year.
It is a clear sign of how Etihad’s 40 per cent stake in the airline a year ago has filtered through to the bottom line, and follows three years of significant losses.
Cramer Ball, chief executive officer of Air Seychelles, said it scrutinised its cost base, introduced strict fiscal control and stripped down operations to find its right shape and size.
But Etihad’s involvement has been pivotal, covering planes and pilot training, and most importantly, by codesharing on 19 destinations, Air Seychelles, and the Seychelles as a whole, has gained a tourism boost.
Contracts were renegotiated for catering, ground handling and in-flight entertainment, and the conclusion of joint contracts for fuel, uniforms and stationery supplies significantly reduced costs.
The airline introduced an Airbus A330-200 and wet-leased an Etihad Airways’ Airbus A320 on the Mauritius route. A second A330-200 enters service to Hong Kong this month, providing increased access to the lucrative Asian leisure market.
It will also be increasing frequencies to Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg and Mauritius.
A recently announced codeshare with airberlin, another of Etihad’s equity partners, will expand the island carrier’s network throughout Europe. The year also saw the integration of frequent flyer programmes Seychelles Plus and Etihad Guest.