Friday, 23 August 2013

Seychelles International Airport

Often a concern amongst travellers when travelling to smaller countries is the quality and efficiency of the local airport. We’ve all heard the nightmare stories! Luckily the Seychelles International Airport (or Aeroport de la pointe Larue) is not one of those nightmares. In fact quite the opposite; whilst being small and modest compared to other international airport, it is quaint, clean, friendly, and most importantly efficient.

The airport is a traveller’s first experience of a country, and certainly the Seychelles International Airport does not disappoint. The approach and landing is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and scenic in the world, with the beautiful mountains, beaches and turquoise waters of Mahe visible from the sky, it gives one a sense that you’re about to touch down in a paradise quite unlike any other. The landing itself is certainly something to experience, with the runway being mere metres from the ocean; it is one of those amazing landings we hear about on those chain emails.

As you disembark the plane, the moment you breathe in the warm, fresh, tropical ocean air you know you have arrived on holiday! Fortunately, the efficiency of the awaiting airport terminal building ensures that your holiday will not be delayed by painful and lengthy airport procedures. After a short visit to passport control you will collect your luggage and head out.

The airport is 11 km southeast of the capital and is accessible by the Victoria-Providence Highway. There is frequent service from the bus station in Victoria, with taxi cab services outside the terminal available to all locations on Mahé Island and several tour operator's coach services — namely Creole Travel Services ( and Mason's Travel ( — which also links passengers to the ferry terminal at the Old Port (Vieux port) for inter-island ferry services and to the New Port (Nouveau port) for cruise holidays. However when booking your holiday with Seychelles Yacht Charter we will naturally take care of all transport arrangements on your behalf.

A domestic terminal is a short walking distance north of the international terminal and offers inter-island flights with a peak of a departure every 10–15 minutes at busy times which corresponds with international arrivals/departures and every 30 minutes at other times.

A cargo terminal is situated south of the international terminal and handles freight from all international and domestic movements; it is run by the national airline Air Seychelles. A military base of the Seychelles Public Defence Force (SPDF) exists at the southeastern end of runway 13 in the south on an island joined with Mahé at the construction of the airport.

Additional facilities include the usual restaurants and bars, duty free shopping, ATM’s, bureau de change, a travel agents office, as well as disabled facilities. 

History of the Airport

Whilst the Seychelles International Airport was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 20 March 1972, Wilkenair of Kenya had already started a ferry service between Mombasa and Mahe. It operated twice a week and was followed by East African Airways and Luxair in 1971. At the time of opening the airport had a 2987 metre runway and a control tower. 

In 1972 John Faulkner Taylor founded the first local aircraft company called Air Mahé, which operated between Praslin, Fregate and Mahé Islands. By 1974, over 30 airlines were flying to the Seychelles. Ground handling and all airport operations were being carried out by Aviation Seychelles Company, a company formed in 1973.

Construction works for the substantial expansion of the Seychelles International Airport started in July 1980. Due to the continuous increase in passenger traffic, a terminal building was built that could cater for 400 arriving and 400 departing passengers at any time. Parking bays for up to six aircraft were catered for as well as a light aircraft parking area capable of handling five aircraft. In 2005/2006 further development to civil aviation in the Seychelles was brought. The Civil Aviation Authority Act was enacted on 4 April 2006 for the corporatisation of the Directorate of Civil Aviation to Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority. Works started to upgrade and extend the terminal building, which has been further extended to handle at least five medium to large aircraft and six small size aircraft. Further parking areas were made available to the north-east of the airport to handle the parking of charter, business and long stay aircraft. 

For more info and flight schedules, visit and

To book your Seychelles holiday contact us via 


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