Air Seychelles experienced double digit growth in its passenger count and revenue during the first half of 2014, which witnessed a 90% increase in passengers on its Abu Dhabi route, which the airline now operates with UAE national carrier Etihad Aiways under a codeshare.

A total of 184,101 passengers flew with Air Seychelles in the first six months of the year, an increase of nearly 25% on the 146,980 passengers flying during for the same period in 2013.

The airline posted total revenues of $50m, an increase of 20% on the $42m that went through the books over the same period in 2013, also reflecting a 46% rise in the network’s rising capacity of Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs) to 496.7 million to 727.4 million.

After the domestic Praslin-Mahé route, which witnessed 71,961 passengers, Abu Dhabi was the airline’s second busiest route by far, with 49,934 passengers – almost double the next most populous route and a 90% year-on-year increase on 2013.

“It continues to be a tough operating environment for many airlines, but we are confident our strategy will continue to allow us to drive quality revenue, enhance the guest experience, while being a catalyst for boosting trade and tourism into Seychelles,” said CEO Manoj Papa.

“In December, we will introduce non-stop flights to Mumbai, Dar es Salaam and Antananarivo, which with Paris, will bring the number of routes coming online in 2014 to four.”

Air Seychelles also took the opportunity to expand its codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways, the airline’s strategic Abu Dhabi partner, enabling it to add Amman, Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh, Rome, Seoul and Zurich to its global partnership network.

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The Abu Dhabi route was followed by Hong Kong, also up 73% to 24,142 passengers; Johannesburg, up 29% to 22,218 passengers; and Mauritius, which rose by 14.4% to 15,846 passengers.

The airline also reported an average seat factor of nearly 60% across its network of five destinations in H1, up 8.5% on a year earlier, and with Q2 seat occupancy reaching 73%.

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