30 July 2017

Africa: Air Seychelles Offering Creative Deals to Paris, South Africa, Madagascar

Looking to get away? Air Seychelles has been making special offers to a number of its destinations in recent months.

One of the offers is a 50 percent discount on a second ticket to Paris when travelling with a companion. Travel to Mauritius or Johannesburg, South Africa can be had for as low as $455, while travel to Madagascar can cost only $409. The offers can be found on the airline's website and Facebook page.

Why is Air Seychelles, established in 1978, offering so many low-priced tickets?

Chief Executive Roy Kinnear told SNA there is a simple strategy behind it: to fill seats on the company's planes to the maximum.

"I have pushed my sales and marketing team hard to come up with creative, experimental or outside-the-box ideas on how to fill those seats or sell a proportion of them," said Kinnear.

Kinnear told SNA that low seasons are also months when his marketing team has to come up with attractive offers.

"There are lots of instances where we will be operating the aircraft with empty seats in one direction or the other. When we have empty seats on a flight, we go out there with some sort of creative offers to see if it would stimulate demand in the market," said Kinnear.

Some of the offers up for grab can be a fair reduction whereas others can apply to certain days of the week only or even be companions-fly-free or at a reduced price.

The chief executive said that such offers give people the chance to travel, an opportunity that they might not have otherwise. For those who want to travel more regularly, either for leisure or shopping trips, the offers are just what they might need.

Offers to Johannesburg, Mauritius and Abu Dhabi are performing well, whereas offers to Madagascar and Mumbai, India are not bringing in as many sales as the company was anticipating.

Air Seychelles offers international flights to Abu Dhabi, Antananarivo, Johannesburg, Mauritius, Mumbai, Düsseldorf and Paris. It also operates daily domestic flights and charter services throughout the archipelago.

It is a common practice among airlines to make last minutes deals available to clients to stimulate last minutes sales as the seats are seen as perishable goods. Once the plane closes its doors and takes off, the seat loses all value.

Kinnear said that since airlines such as Emirates, Qatar and Turkish Airline are flying to the 115-islands archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, Air Seychelles always has to be competitive, especially given the international transfer hubs that those airlines offer.

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