Island Connections: Mauritius & Seychelles Links Restored With South Africa

South Africans looking for a well-deserved getaway can rejoice in restoring connectivity and launching new routes connecting them to some of the world’s most desirable island destinations. Thanks to the easing of travel restrictions, airlines are back to provide connectivity to Seychelles and Mauritius, providing more options for a tropical vacation.

The exotic holidays of South Africa are back again. Photo: Air Seychelles

Seychelles is open for business

Seychelles has amended travel restrictions that were preventing contact from seven African countries. The restrictions were put in place at the end of November in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant. But now that the COVID strain is so widespread, and it has already been detected on the island itself, airlines are free to restore contacts with Africa.

From January 6y, Air Seychelles flies to Johannesburg once a week. Although less frequent than previously run, the resumption of the route will be welcomed by travelers on both sides of the connection. The four-hour, 55-minute flight is currently the only direct link between South Africa and the island. It departs every Friday at present, but can be increased to twice weekly if demand permits.

Mauritius also reconnects

Air Mauritius also recently confirmed that it will resume flights to South Africa from its island. The airline flies five times a week throughout January, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. As for its operations, the line will serve both the A330neo and the A350.

Air Mauritius A330
Air Mauritius is back in South Africa, too. Photo: Air Mauritius

The island nation lifted its ban on travelers from South Africa three weeks ahead of schedule. At the same time, it removed restrictions on passengers from many other African countries, for reasons similar to Seychelles[passengersfrommanyotherAfricancountriesforsimilarreasonstoSeychelles][الركابمنالعديدمنالبلدانالأفريقيةالأخرى،لأسبابمماثلةلسيشيل[passengersfrommanyotherAfricancountriesforsimilarreasonstoSeychelles

But Air Mauritius will face new competition on the route, with South African airline FlySafair also planning to start service to the island nation. This will be the airline’s first flight outside South Africa, and is scheduled to launch on March 8y.

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Low-cost local airline FlySafair will also run the route. Photo: FlySafair

FlySafair was planning to launch Mauritius services on December 11y, but canceled the plans in the wake of the Omicron crisis. First of all, the airline will fly twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, from Johannesburg.

Maldives set direction, but no flights

The early lifting of restrictions by these two islands comes two weeks after the Maldives started this trend. Having imposed a ban on travelers from seven South African countries in late November, the Maldives canceled the ban about a month later. For a country that relies heavily on tourism, lifting the ban has been well supported by local communities.

Air Seychelles A320neo
When will the Maldives regain direct contact again? Photo: Air Seychelles

But despite fewer restrictions on visitors from South Africa, no airline has restored direct contact. Air Seychelles previously served the Maldives directly from JNB, but with a technical layover in Mahe. So far, he has made no mention of restarting those services, leaving travelers with a painful 14-hour flight path connecting them through a hub in the Middle East.

However, it is positive to see more restrictions removed from important markets, and brave airlines like FlySafair are ready to embark on new endeavors.

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