Seychelles Table of Contents
Cars and buses are the principal means of transportation; Seychelles has no railroads. The total road network as of 1994 was 302 kilometers, of which 202 kilometers are hard surfaced. Road conditions on the island of Mahé are for the most part excellent. Vehicle registrations consist of 4,072 private cars, 216 buses, 1,105 commercial vehicles, and 102 motorcycles. Between 1983 and 1986, car imports were prohibited to conserve foreign exchange. Under a quota system subsequently introduced, vehicle imports were allowed to rise to 1,070 in 1989.
Mahé has an international airport and a good harbor. A government ferry service links Mahé to the nearby islands of Praslin and La Digue. Private vessels serve some smaller islands, but in the more remote islands service is less frequent and is primarily for loading copra and delivering supplies. In April 1994, Seychelles Shipping Line was founded to provide additional international service.
Seychelles has fourteen airports or airstrips, eight with hard-surfaced runways. The state airline, Air Seychelles, was converted from an interisland to an international carrier in 1983 to offset the effects of termination of air service by British Airways. In 1989 it purchased a Boeing 767, followed in 1993 by a Boeing 757 on a lease-purchase arrangement. The larger 767 flies to northern European cities, such as London, Frankfurt, and Zurich, and the 757 provides service to Johannesburg, Nairobi, Bahrain, Dubayy, Singapore, Rome, Paris and Madrid. The airline also has four de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otters and one Pilatus Brîtten-Norman Islander. In addition, five international carriers serve the airport on Mahé. Air Seychelles' share of international traffic was 35 percent in 1992, which it hoped to expand to more than 40 percent.
Seychelles has an air traffic control center covering some 2.6 million square kilometers between the east coast of Africa and the Indian subcontinent. The center opened in June 1991 and has taken over some of the responsibilities that Somalia handled; it serves seventeen international airlines.
Seychelles has good telecommunications links with all parts of the world by satellite and telephone service on the islands of Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue. Direct radio communications linked the outer islands to Mahé and to African coastal countries. Some 13,000 telephone lines were in use as of 1994, along with more than 200 telex and facsimile machines. In 1994 some 40,000 radios and 13,000 television sets could receive programs of the government-owned Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation. With the help of three relay stations, television signals are available to between 75 and 80 percent of the population. The television stations carry foreign programming beamed to an Indian Ocean International Telecommunications Satellite Corporation (Intelsat) earth station. There are two amplitude modulation (AM) radio stations, one government and the other a missionary system licensed to broadcast both local and international religious programs.
Data as of August 1994