Air Seychelles will operate a series of special flights to transport foreign nationals and residents stranded in the island nation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the national airline announced Wednesday.
An outbound flight will be operated by Air Seychelles to Dubai on Saturday, June 13 and one to Johannesburg on Monday, June 15. Air Seychelles will then fly to Doha - a hub - for other stranded visitors on June 16. This will allow visitors to get on an outbound flight to other countries in Asia and Europe.
As part of the preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19, passengers will need to wear their own masks at the airport and on board the aircraft at all times. Passengers will also need to follow strict guidelines during check-in, boarding, in-flight and upon disembarkation.
Seychellois and non-Seychellois residents with permanent residence in the island nation who are stranded in these three destinations can board the return flights.
The repatriation flights are being done with the assistance and support of Seychelles' Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Department previously told SNA that "all our embassies across the world are being mobilised and we are compiling a list of stranded nationals within their jurisdictions, with the support of our Consular network."
"Our embassies are in direct contact with the stranded nationals and on a daily basis are coordinating with the Consular Affairs section," the Department said.
All passengers travelling on the return flights to Seychelles will have to provide concerned authorities with a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, conducted 48 hours prior to departure. This is as per guidelines set by Seychelles' Department of Health.
Upon arrival in Seychelles, passengers will be placed under quarantine for 14 days at a government-approved facility.
Air Seychelles will, in addition, be conducting special flights to Mauritius, the details of which will be provided at a later date. Flights to India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will commence once the borders of these countries reopen.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, is free of COVID-19 and has reopened its international airport to commercial flights starting with private jets and chartered flights since June 1.
Meanwhile, Air Seychelles, the national carrier, is expected to start commercial flights next month as Israel is presently on the list of low-risk countries. If the situation remains the same, the airline will operate a once-weekly flight to Tel Aviv in July and then increase the frequency to at least three per week in August.