DOHA – Qatar Airways (QR) is set to increase the number of passengers it will carry on trips to the Indian Ocean island-country of Seychelles to capitalize on loosening COVID-19 restrictions.

The carrier is planning on flying its more spacious Boeing 787 Dreamliners thrice a week to the island “to meet increased demand from visitors to the idyllic resorts, Business Traveller reported.

“We resumed our flights to the Seychelles in December 2020. Now the islands are opening up further for visitors, we are delighted to offer more seat availability and an enhanced and sustainable experience for our passengers using our Boeing 787 Dreamliners,” said Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori.

“We know the authorities in the Seychelles remain vigilant and visitors will still be required to adhere to public health measures put in place in view of the pandemic these will include wearing of face masks, social distancing and regular cleaning of hands,” Antinori further added.

Qatar Airways A7-BCO Boeing 787-8. Marco Macca/Airways

Seychelles Opening Up

The news of QR’s plans comes as Seychelles announced it would open itself to tourists starting Mar. 25, according to Reuters

The COVID-19 pandemic had stripped Seychelles of 61% of its tourism revenues in 2020. This was because in 2020, as Coronavirus kept spreading, several countries issued travel curbs. 

Those travel restrictions dealt a shock to the Seychellois economy, where, directly and indirectly, tourism accounts for 55% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Qatar Airways A7-AHB Airbus A320-232. John Leivaditis/Airways

New Policies

Under the islands’ new policies, to restore the economy, tourists worldwide will be welcome to the island. Only those from South Africa, which is fighting an indigenous variant of the virus, won’t be allowed into Seychelles. 

Tourists to Seychelles will only need to present a negative COVID-19 test done 72 hours before arrival. The country no longer requires mandatory quarantining. However, travelers can only stay at hotels certified to be compliant with COVID-19 prevention measures.

Featured Image: Qatar Airways A7-BCG Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Alberto Cucini/Airways