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Qatar Airways cancels Seychelles route

Akbar Al Baker at Arabian Travel Market

Decision to halt flights to islands ‘regretted’

June 12, 2013 1:22 by

As of September 1, travellers, tour operators and travel agents with bookings to the Seychelles on Qatar Airways will either get a full refund or re-allocated to other airlines.

After ‘careful consideration’, Qatar Airways has announced its plans to permanently suspend (at least until further notice) its daily service to the Seychelles – with the last flight operating on August 31.

The decision to halt all flights to and from Mahe, a route that the Doha-based carrier began serving in 2004, was taken for “commercial reasons,” without any specifics being revealed.

However, several reports indicate that since an alliance between Etihad Airways and Air Seychelles was formed – where the Abu Dhabi-based carrier invested a 40 per cent stake in the airline in January last year – the ‘battle’ for Seychelles’ travellers has intensified in the Gulf.

The chief executive officer of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, says that while the unfortunate decision to suspend the route was related to ‘regrettable’ commercial reasons, he looks forward to the day when flights to these ‘idyllic’ islands can be resumed.

“We have built up a strong relationship with our partners over the years and will continue to work with them and the relevant authorities to ensure a smooth discontinuation of the route,” he said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the government of the Republic of Seychelles, the local business and tourism industry, our travel trade partners in the Seychelles and countries around the world for supporting what was a hugely popular destination for Qatar Airways.”

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