Air Seychelles new planes to arrive ahead of schedule

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Air Seychelles has announced that two of the three aircraft it has ordered from Canada’s Viking Air will arrive in mid-2014, one year ahead of schedule.

Last October, Air Seychelles placed an order for three Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft in a multi-million dollar deal which will enable the island carrier to renew its domestic fleet. Deliveries were scheduled for mid-2015, with earlier advancement possible if newly-built aircraft became available.

Air Seychelles now plans to welcome the two new Twin Otters in July, following which the aircraft will enter into service between Mahé and Praslin, as well as other islands in the archipelago, including Bird, Denis, D’Arros, and Frégate.

The third aircraft is expected to arrive in the third quarter of 2015. All three new aircraft are part of a phased business plan to refresh the Twin Otter DHC6 fleet. 

Twin Otters were first introduced by Air Seychelles in the early 1980s, and the airline currently operates three DHC-6 Series 300 aircraft and one DHC-6 Series 400 aircraft.

The 19-seat twin engine Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 aircraft are manufactured by Viking Air in British Columbia, Canada. Air Seychelles placed orders for the aircraft last October, due to their robustness and suitability for short sector flying, capacity to land on rugged, short airstrips, and their ability to operate in a saline and humid environment.

Last year, the airline announced expanded codeshares with Etihad (see story here), and airberlin (see story here), as well as a new codeshare with SAA (see story here).