Book Flights
 
Home Air Seychelles Airline Review

    Air Seychelles Airline Review

    8/10

    From 2 editor reviews

    Andreas Spaeth

    Cabin: Business Class
    Route: Johannesburg-Mahé
    Aircraft: A330-200

    8/10

    Air Seychelles is the national carrier of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. Since January 2012 the airline is 40% owned by Etihad, meaning an input in capital, expertise and aircraft from Abu Dhabi. Currently Air Seychelles only serves Paris in Europe, but on March 30 a decisive expansion step will follow, when Air Seychelles, now equipped with two A330-200s, adds two services per week to Düsseldorf in Germany to its network. I tried the Air Seychelles’ Business Class product on the route from Johannesburg to Mahé, the main island with the international airport, which is currently served five times a week.

    Seat and Amenities

    The Airbus A330-200 flying today has been the sole A330 of Air Seychelles for two years. The 18 Business Class seats are installed in a 2-2-2 configuration in three rows. The product hails from an era when it wasn’t usual to offer private cubicles in Business Class. Phenomenal, however, is the seat pitch of 82’’ (208.2cm), which prevents me from reaching the pocket in the back of the seat in front when seated and buckled in. The seat can be extended into a full flat bed measuring over two meters in length, as long as in First Class elsewhere. This however does not apply to my seat 3A, which hardly moves, the back can be lowered an instant and the footrest raised a few inches, but not more. An annoying defect. But luckily the adjacent seat is empty and functions. After eating I extend the functioning bed beside me and sleep over an hour, in this way I could have easily spent a whole night in a comfortable way, a big plus for the full-flat beds on Air Seychelles.

    Customer service on board

    Even before departure it shows that the inflight service, more so even than the hardware, carries the imprint of Etihad, where the flight attendants of Air Seychelles are now trained in Abu Dhabi. From the seat pocket protrudes the orange menu card which says “A la Carte Dining ” Contemporary Cuisine” on the cover. First I can chose a pre-take-off drink and opt for champagne (Nicholas Feuillatte Brut Reserve), very pleasing. Then the flight attendants kneel down in front of passengers to take meal orders and the time when everybody wants to dine. As this is a mid-day flight almost all choose to eat after reaching cruising altitude. But the option of flexible eating times is a hallmark of good Business Class service today, although even many big airlines still don’t offer this.

    Catering

    The choice consists of two appetisers (sliced kingclip fillet with citrus mint salad or herbed chicken breast with potato salad and mango) as well as three main courses. Among them grilled beef fillet with sweet potato gratin, seared salmon fillet with basmati rice and vegetables or mushroom and ricotta cannelloni. For desert finally there is either cheese, lemon tartlet or fresh fruit to choose from. The front rows have their meals swiftly on the table after reaching cruise altitude, for me it takes about 40 minutes after rotation, but totally acceptable, and another round of champagne comes before anyway. The food itself is OK, but not more. The salmon is fairly dry and there is only limited sauce, but the purser delights me asking if I’d like some chilli peppers. You bet, I love chilli and hot food. And I get a whole bowl of freshly cut red chillis and they are really hot - all of a sudden my meal is fun again. To go with it I choose from the wine list (two reds, two whites, a South African and a French each) a good Sauvignon Blanc from Thelema in Stellenbosch. I particularly like the porcelain of Air Seychelles, depicting the stylised Coco de Mer, endemic to Praslin island. The lemon tartlet is a yummy finish, and then I indulge in one of the two beverages offered on board that are made in Seychelles. Besides the Seybrew beer that’s the brown, aged Takamaka rum, a perfect digestif.

    Inflight entertainment

    We rotate almost on time, and I try to find the interactive moving map showing the flight path and flight data in the IFE. But strangely enough this function, offered since decades on almost all long haul aircraft, doesn’t exist in Air Seychelles’ A330. So I hear an audio CD from the IFE, which is not (in contrast to my return flight later on an Air Seychelles A320) the E-BOX system of Etihad. Also the 10.5’’ screens folding out from the armrests are not touch screens. But then there is wifi on board, for a fee of course.

    Extra information

    In flying to the islands, Air Seychelles competes with the three big Gulf carriers as well as holiday airlines from Abu Dhabi, India and Europe, and in comparison to the competition it can clearly score. At least on its A330s, less so on the A320 fleet which has a great Business product, too, but of course no flat beds. Some routes are served by both types according to the day of the week, so a careful check ahead is in order.

    Andreas Spaeth

    Cabin: Business Class
    Route: Johannesburg-Mahé
    Aircraft: A330-200

    8/10

    Air Seychelles is the national carrier of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. Since January 2012 the airline is 40% owned by Etihad, meaning an input in capital, expertise and aircraft from Abu Dhabi. Currently Air Seychelles only serves Paris in Europe, but on March 30 a decisive expansion step will follow, when Air Seychelles, now equipped with two A330-200s, adds two services per week to Düsseldorf in Germany to its network. I tried the Air Seychelles’ Business Class product on the route from Johannesburg to Mahé, the main island with the international airport, which is currently served five times a week.

    Seat and Amenities

    The Airbus A330-200 flying today has been the sole A330 of Air Seychelles for two years. The 18 Business Class seats are installed in a 2-2-2 configuration in three rows. The product hails from an era when it wasn’t usual to offer private cubicles in Business Class. Phenomenal, however, is the seat pitch of 82’’ (208.2cm), which prevents me from reaching the pocket in the back of the seat in front when seated and buckled in. The seat can be extended into a full flat bed measuring over two meters in length, as long as in First Class elsewhere. This however does not apply to my seat 3A, which hardly moves, the back can be lowered an instant and the footrest raised a few inches, but not more. An annoying defect. But luckily the adjacent seat is empty and functions. After eating I extend the functioning bed beside me and sleep over an hour, in this way I could have easily spent a whole night in a comfortable way, a big plus for the full-flat beds on Air Seychelles.

    Customer service on board

    Even before departure it shows that the inflight service, more so even than the hardware, carries the imprint of Etihad, where the flight attendants of Air Seychelles are now trained in Abu Dhabi. From the seat pocket protrudes the orange menu card which says “A la Carte Dining ” Contemporary Cuisine” on the cover. First I can chose a pre-take-off drink and opt for champagne (Nicholas Feuillatte Brut Reserve), very pleasing. Then the flight attendants kneel down in front of passengers to take meal orders and the time when everybody wants to dine. As this is a mid-day flight almost all choose to eat after reaching cruising altitude. But the option of flexible eating times is a hallmark of good Business Class service today, although even many big airlines still don’t offer this.

    Catering

    The choice consists of two appetisers (sliced kingclip fillet with citrus mint salad or herbed chicken breast with potato salad and mango) as well as three main courses. Among them grilled beef fillet with sweet potato gratin, seared salmon fillet with basmati rice and vegetables or mushroom and ricotta cannelloni. For desert finally there is either cheese, lemon tartlet or fresh fruit to choose from. The front rows have their meals swiftly on the table after reaching cruise altitude, for me it takes about 40 minutes after rotation, but totally acceptable, and another round of champagne comes before anyway. The food itself is OK, but not more. The salmon is fairly dry and there is only limited sauce, but the purser delights me asking if I’d like some chilli peppers. You bet, I love chilli and hot food. And I get a whole bowl of freshly cut red chillis and they are really hot - all of a sudden my meal is fun again. To go with it I choose from the wine list (two reds, two whites, a South African and a French each) a good Sauvignon Blanc from Thelema in Stellenbosch. I particularly like the porcelain of Air Seychelles, depicting the stylised Coco de Mer, endemic to Praslin island. The lemon tartlet is a yummy finish, and then I indulge in one of the two beverages offered on board that are made in Seychelles. Besides the Seybrew beer that’s the brown, aged Takamaka rum, a perfect digestif.

    Inflight entertainment

    We rotate almost on time, and I try to find the interactive moving map showing the flight path and flight data in the IFE. But strangely enough this function, offered since decades on almost all long haul aircraft, doesn’t exist in Air Seychelles’ A330. So I hear an audio CD from the IFE, which is not (in contrast to my return flight later on an Air Seychelles A320) the E-BOX system of Etihad. Also the 10.5’’ screens folding out from the armrests are not touch screens. But then there is wifi on board, for a fee of course.

    Extra information

    In flying to the islands, Air Seychelles competes with the three big Gulf carriers as well as holiday airlines from Abu Dhabi, India and Europe, and in comparison to the competition it can clearly score. At least on its A330s, less so on the A320 fleet which has a great Business product, too, but of course no flat beds. Some routes are served by both types according to the day of the week, so a careful check ahead is in order.

    View all Reviews

    SHARE
    Cookie settings