Etihad Airways' inaugural flight to the Indian Ocean island nation of the Seychelles touched down at Seychelles International Airport on Mahé on the afternoon...

Etihad Airways has begun serving the Republic of the Seychelles and also The Republic of the Maldives.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways’ inaugural flight to the Indian Ocean island nation of the Seychelles, known as a resort paradise with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, touched down at Seychelles International Airport on Mahé on the afternoon of November 2.

The carrier’s flight EY622 was honored with a traditional water cannon salute, as the pilots waved the flags of the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of the Seychelles from the cockpit windows.

Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways operates a fleet predominantly comprised of Airbus aircraft and which includes a growing number of A320-family narrowbody jets. By the end of 2009, the airline's A320-family complement will comprise 13 A320s and two A319s

Etihad Airways says forward bookings for the route, which the airline is operating four times a week with two-class Airbus A320s, are strong, particularly from points of origin in Etihad’s European network.

“The ties between Abu Dhabi and the Seychelles are already strong, and with this new route, Etihad Airways can help to make that relationship stronger,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive officer. “The Seychelles has long been a favourite destination among discerning leisure travellers, and global interest in the destination has been building in recent years, particularly following the much-publicized Royal Honeymoon.”

Etihad Airways’ schedule offers an afternoon arrival at and evening departure from the Seychelles and European travellers can take overnight flights through Abu Dhabi in both directions, offering them a full extra day in the Seychelles.

The Seychelles comprises 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, located off the east coast of Africa. The 41 inner islands constitute the oldest mid-oceanic granite islands on earth, while another 74 islands form the low-lying coral atolls and reef islands of the outer islands.

The inner islands cluster mainly around the principal islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, forming the cultural and economic hub of Seychelles, as well as the centre of its tourism industry. The capital of the Republic of the Seychelles is Victoria, a few miles northwest of Seychelles International Airport on Mahé.

Subsidiary Etihad Holidays has a range of holiday options to the most spectacular of the 115 islands of the Seychelles. The company says it can create packages for any type of traveller. Packages include flights, hotel accommodation, island transfers and any number of the many tours and excursions on offer.

Etihad Airways' inaugural service from Abu Dhabi to Malé, the capital of The Republic of the Maldives on November 1, 2011, was honored upon arrival with a traditional water-cannon salute from the airport's fire-fighting department

On November 1, the day before it began serving the Seychelles, Etihad Airways also began daily service to another Indian Ocean beach-resort paradise. The carrier began flights between Abu Dhabi and Malé, the capital of The Republic of the Maldives, with Airbus A320 equipment.

The Maldives is a nation of far-flung, low-lying islands and atolls well off the southern coast of India, again boasting some of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches and waters in the world.

Based in Abu Dhabi and billing itself as the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways began operations in 2003. In 2010 Etihad carried more than seven million passengers.

From its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad serves 86 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America (where it flies to New York, Chicago and Toronto), with a fleet of 63 Airbus and Boeing aircraft.

The carrier has another 100 aircraft on order, including 10 Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. For more information on Etihad Airways, visit

To find hotel deals in the Seychelles, click here. To find hotel deals in the Maldives, click here.