Sri Lanka’s exporters to Seychelles were upbeat on possible direct air-links with Seychelles while Sri Lanka’s national carrier viewed it as ‘an opportunity’. “Seychelles is an opportunity. Within the next three months, SriLankan Airlines will be able to come to a clear understanding as to how we can set up direct commercial air-links with Seychelles” said Kapila Chandrasena, Director/CEO of SriLankan Airlines.
SriLankan Director Chandrasena was explaining the latest developments on direct air-links in the aftermath of his discussions with Seychelles’ Civil Aviation Authority Chairman Capt. David Savy on the morning of 22 August, after the Breakfast Meeting held by the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka for the visiting Seychelles delegation at Hilton Hotel.
During the meeting President of Seychelles James Alix Michel, announced that Air and maritime cooperation between the two countries could begin immediately which will boost tourism, trade and investment at both ends, and also help grow such segments as medical tourism through direct and onward flights.
I would like the Chairman of Seychelles Aviation Authority to start immediate discussions with SriLankan Airlines. We also look to SriLankan for potential onward flights from Seychelles to other parts of Africa such as South Africa which will open up lots of opportunities for SriLankan, he said.
We are prepared to give facilities to SriLankan Airlines for direct flights to Seychelles. I think together we can achieve a lot for our countries’ he further said.
Among Sri Lankan exporters to Seychelles were upbeat on the possibility of direct air-links between the two countries. S.Gnanaskandan, Executive Director, Eastern and Allied Agencies Ltd, a Lankan fruit and vegetable exporter to Seychelles, said: “This is a major development for us. Currently, we have to route our shipments through the Dubai Hub before landing in Mahe at Seychelles. But direct air-links will cut cost and time greatly and I may even switch my sea-cargo to air-freight if direct air-links begin”, he said.