The aircraft, an Airbus A320, landed at Seychelles International Airport on the morning of Friday May 29 after making its first commercial flight with the new registration number, S7-AMI, freshly-painted on its fuselage.
Joël Morgan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, and Air Seychelles’ chairman, said: “Transferring the Airbus A320 to the Seychelles register is a major achievement for our national airline, and a proud moment for the country.
“It reflects the considerable progress Air Seychelles has made in building its operational capacity and strengthening the business in order to meet demanding regulatory requirements.
“The development has been made possible by its strong partnership with Etihad Airways, which has, over three years, provided valuable training, support and resources.”
Named Amirantes, the aircraft joined Air Seychelles’ fleet in December 2014, and was previously registered in the United Arab Emirates, with Etihad Airways. This arrangement provided flexibility in managing the fleet through its initial growth phase.
Manoj Papa, chief executive of Air Seychelles, said: “We have worked closely with Etihad Airways to move Air Seychelles to a modern Airbus fleet and grow our capacity, and to-date have seen 20 of our pilots and 194 Seychellois cabin crew graduate from its world-class training academy in Abu Dhabi.
“As a result, we have reached a point where Air Seychelles has the resources, talent and technical know-how to manage all the operational aspects of the A320, including the maintenance of all technical, safety and regulatory records.
Under the Seychelles register, Air Seychelles will continue to have access to economies of scale, operational synergies and training facilities of Etihad Airways Partners.
Mr Papa added: “This change will provide the airline with more opportunities for growth, for example, by opening up air access to destinations which require a Seychelles registered aircraft for charter and scheduled operations.
“In addition, the Airbus A320 aircraft is a great platform for pilots in our international operations to gain flying experience before moving up to the A330, which shares commonalities such as a similar cockpit design.
“We look forward to transferring additional aircraft to the Seychelles register over the coming years, as we continue to grow and expand the airline, driving more tourism and growth in the Seychelles economy.”