15 Jul 2015 13:30
Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, has welcomed the introduction of a visa waiver for Seychellois passport holders travelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), effective Thursday 16 July 2015.
The development will allow
Seychellois to visit the UAE for a period of up to 90 days, without applying
for a visa before travelling. A visa will be granted free of charge on arrival.
Joël Morgan, Minister of
Foreign Affairs and Transport and Chairman of Air Seychelles, said: “This visa
waiver simplifies travel to the UAE for Seychellois passport holders and brings
our two countries, which have longstanding bilateral relations, closer
“It signals a clear intent
to build on our existing relationship and symbolises the deep level of trust
between Seychelles and the UAE, our largest outbound travel destination and the
country with most air connections to our archipelago.
“This visa waiver is
reciprocated through Seychelles’ policy of granting all foreign visitors a visa
on arrival, including UAE nationals, which has contributed to the UAE becoming
our fourth-largest inbound tourism market.”
Commencing 1 July 2015, the
combined number of return flights operated by Air Seychelles and Etihad Airways
between Seychelles and Abu Dhabi increased to 14 per week. The flights are
operated on an Airbus A320 aircraft in a two-class configuration, with 16
Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats, offering more than 3,800 seats on
the route each week.
Roy Kinnear, Chief
Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said: “This exciting development makes
travel to the UAE more affordable and convenient for Seychellois, who no longer
need to pay or wait for a visa to be processed.
“The UAE is a popular
holiday and business destination for Seychellois, in particular for its shopping
opportunities. In the first half of 2015, a total of 4,425 Seychellois
travelled to the UAE, representing a significant 26 per cent of all departures.
“In turn, some 8,646
Emirati nationals have visited Seychelles in the first half this year. In response
to such strong travel demand, in both directions, we have worked with Etihad
Airways to enhance our combined schedules and together offer double-daily
flights between Seychelles and the UAE.
“This visa waiver also
makes it convenient for our guests to add a stopover in Abu Dhabi to their
travel plans; for instance, combining a flight with Air Seychelles to Mumbai
and returning on a codeshare flight on Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi.”