Air Transport World

Air Seychelles-BCAL contract profitable.

Seychelles--The Britten-Norman Trislander, with pilot and 17 passengers, touches down on a grass strip hacked out of a grove of palm trees and taxies up to what must be in the running for the smallest air terminal in the world--a thatched hut, opern at either end, with a desk and a weighing machine. This is Bird Island, a station on the scheduled-service network of Air Seychelles, the national airline of this small republic which incorporates around 100 coral and granite islands spread across 400,000 square kolometres of the western Indian Ocean.

Bird is a little over 60 miles from the main island of Mahe, a half-hour hop by Trislander, but 12 hours hard sailing by inter-island schooner. It takes just an hour to walk right round its dazzling white-sand beach, and its only industry is a hotel of 25 hutted bedrooms. The hotel owner checks in the passengers for the return flight, and the hotel barman loads the baggage from a tractor, the island's only motor vehicle. Hard workers

As can be seen, Air Seychelles provides vital links, and its fleet of two Trislanders and one nine-seat Britten-Norman Islander, and its staff of 35, which includes five pilots, work hard. …

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