Air Seychelles (HM, Mahé) is evaluating adding an A321-200neo(XLR) for services from Mahé to Perth Int'l and Cape Town in the medium- to long-term, Chief Executive Remco Althuis told Airlineratings in an interview.

The Seychellois carrier is currently undergoing restructuring which includes the renewal of its narrowbody fleet. It already operates one A320-200neo and plans to take a second of the type in March. After the delivery of the second A320neo, Air Seychelles will retire its last remaining A320-200.

Besides lower fuel burn, the A320neo allows the carrier to serve its key markets in Africa and Asia - Johannesburg O.R. Tambo and Mumbai Int'l - with no payload restrictions. However, while the A320neo is still payload-restricted to 120 passengers (out of 168 seats) on the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion route as it needs to bypass Saudi Arabian airspace, given high demand for premium travel from Israel, the carrier still sees sense in serving the market.

Althuis said narrowbody renewal would allow the carrier to start generating positive cash flow but that it does not currently see a need for more than two narrowbodies. However, going forward, Air Seychelles could add an A321neo(XLR) either as a third narrowbody aircraft or to replace one of the A320neo.

"Realistically we would go southbound only with it, that would be Perth and Cape Town," he said.

According to the ch-aviation capacities module, there are currently no direct services between the Seychelles and Australia.

Air Seychelles is 40%-owned by Etihad Aviation Group, although the involvement of the Emirati carrier in the running of the airline has become increasingly limited.

"Taking over revenue management from Etihad mid-year being the last big switch," Althuis said.