Africa’s First Airbus A320neo Delivered to Air Seychelles

Africa’s first Airbus A320neo has been delivered to Air Seychelles. The aircraft is on lease from CDB Aviation and is a unique first for the Indian Ocean island nation.

Air Seychelles new A320neo
Air Seychelles new A320neo is named “Veuve” after the most critically endangered bird commonly known as the Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher. Photo: Air Seychelles.

CDB Aviation is an Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co.

Adding the Airbus A320neo to its fleet will allow Air Seychelles to increase its capacity on its route network while also bringing considerable savings in fuel costs.

This addition to the island carrier’s fleet brings with it the latest developments in flight technology, offering flyers a wider choice of entertainment options.

seyStream inflight entertainment

Air Seychelles calls their new inflight entertainment system “seyStream”, a WiFi device that will allow passengers to use their own electronic devices to access a wide variety of free TV shows and movies. The platform also features a dedicated children’s channel and has a live 3D moving map of the aircraft’s route.

seyStream features a live 3D map of the plane’s route. Photo: Air Seychelles.

With the aircraft’s wide single-aisle cabin, it will allow Air Seychelles to offer its passengers unrivaled comfort in all classes. Cabins include generously proportioned 18 inch wide seats in economy.

According to a press release from Airbus, the A320neo is the worlds most advanced and fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft. The aircraft delivered to Air Seychelles is powered by two LEAP-1A engines from CFM International.

CFM International is a joint venture between GE Aviation, a division of General Electric of the United States, and Safran Aircraft Engines, a division of Safran of France. The new A320neo jet also features wingtip fuel-saving Sharklets that cut through the air helping to reduce aerodynamic drag.

The A320neo is Air Seychelles first new aircraft since 2001

The last time Air Seychelles took delivery of a new aircraft, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was topping the box office. This was back in 2001 when the Boeing 767-300 arrived.

Air Seychelles new A320neo
Air Seychelles new A320neo will have 12 business class seats. Photo: Air Seychelles.

Configured in a two-class layout, the Air Seychelles A320neo will feature 12 seats in business class and 156 seats in economy. When speaking about the new arrival, Seychelles principal secretary for civil aviation, ports and marine Alan Renaud is reported by Air Transport World as saying,

“The aircraft’s arrival marks the start of a new chapter in the development of the national airline, as the increase in seat capacity available on the aircraft will enable Air Seychelles to continue delivering significant contribution towards both the growth of tourism and the Seychelles economy.”

What does Air Seychelles plan to do with their new A320neo?

After having dropped its long-haul route between Mahé and Paris in April of 2018 and returning their two leased Airbus A330s, the next stage in Air Seychelles new business plan was to replace their two Airbus A320-200s with the more fuel-efficient neo version.

Air Seychelles new A320neo
Air Seychelles new A320neo will fly once a week to Tel Aviv. Photo: Air Seychelles

After having scaled back their long-haul operations, Air Seychelles now has a modest fleet of eight aircraft that comprise the new A320neo, two A320-200 which will be replaced and five Viking Air DHC-6-400 Twin Otters.

Besides inter-island flights and charters, Air Seychelles operates international flights to Mauritius, Johannesburg, and Mumbai. Starting November 27th Air Seychelles will begin a once-weekly six-hour flight from Mahe to Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel.

While this flight does not seem to make sense on paper, we think we understand why. Are you looking forward to seeing the neo at work for Air Seychelles? Let us know in the comments.