PICS: Air Seychelles launches Africa's first A320neo to OR Tambo on its maiden flight
A new plane has taken to Africa's skies - Air Seychelles has started flying their brand new A320neo, the first of its model to fly in Africa and the Indian Ocean.
It departed Seychelles International airport at 08:00 on Monday, arriving at OR Tambo International, where a traditional water canon salute was awaiting it.
“It is with great pride and joy to introduce our new Airbus A320neo aircraft to the South African market and even better to become the first air carrier to operate this type of aircraft across the Indian Ocean and Africa," beamed the airline's CEO Remco Althuis.
“South Africa remains a very important market for Air Seychelles and with the increased capacity of the A320neo we are excited to grow the number of visitors on the route to further support the continued growth of tourism between Johannesburg and the Mahe hub."
The aircraft also got a special new name - Veuve - which is a very rare bird found only in Seychelles. The fuel-efficient model with wingtip devices features a total capacity of 168 seats, including 12 seats in Business Class and 156 seats in Economy Class.
The new A320neo aircraft also features SeyStream - the airlines new streaming in-flight entertainment platform. Run on AirFi technology on board app-free streaming system removes the need to for screens on seat-backs, allowing passengers to access the entertainment system through their own devices - phone, tablet or laptop.
According to its manufacturer, Airbus, the A320neo is "the world’s most advanced and fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft".
OR Tambo management was also excited about Veuve's arrival.
“This is a special moment for us as OR Tambo International Airport," says the airport's general manager Bongiwe Pityi-Vokwana," to be the very first airport in the African Continent to receive this new generation of aircraft.
“This reaffirms our commitment to invest in world-class infrastructure that can accommodate the most sophisticated aircraft and attract new players in the aviation industry.”