Air Seychelles’ Board meets trainees at Etihad’s aviation academy in Abu Dhabi


(Posted 11th June 2013)

The Board of Directors of Air Seychelles has during a recent visit to the Etihad headquarters in Abu Dhabi taken the time to meet 14 Seychellois students, who are now attached to the Etihad aviation academy. Seven engineers, two cadet pilots and five members of the Graduate Management Development Program (GMDP) are currently enrolled in relevant career development programs although all crew, and other staff, have since the start of the cooperation between the two airlines undergone training and type conversion from the previously used B767 to the airline’s new Airbus A330 aircraft in Abu Dhabi too.

The Training Engineer Development Program includes two years of classroom training in Al Ain and two years of service training in Abu Dhabi while the cadet pilots complete 750 hours of classroom sessions and 205 hours flight training in single and multi-engine aircraft. Cadets must also pass the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority’s theoretical knowledge and flying exams before being licensed by the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority.

The GMDP is a 21-month course, which involves nine months of workplace orientation across key Etihad Airways departments, followed by a six month placement with a specific team of interest. The final six months are allotted for a business-based project.

It is understood from Air Seychelles’ sources that upon the successful completion of the training programs, all graduates return to the Seychelles and resume working with Air Seychelles.

Minister Morgan was quoted to have stated on the occasion of meeting the trainees: ‘The training of our Seychellois nationals at Etihad Airways is another example of the ‘win-win’ partnership between the two airlines, not only in terms of operations and fleet management but also staff development. Etihad Airways is providing an experience through its state of the art training facilities, global management business approach and best practice, enabling Air Seychelles to build a team of world class airline professionals. I urge our Seychellois students to make the most of this wonderful opportunity.’

In response did Cramer Ball, Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer have this to add: ‘The most valuable asset of any organisation is its people and that’s why staff development is such a big focus for us. As the national airline of the Seychelles, we are committed to supporting a highly-skilled national workforce. I am delighted to see how well the Seychellois trainees have developed and are making the most of this opportunity to receive world class training and experience’.

One of the trainees, Elsie Hurst, an Air Seychelles employee in her tenth month of the GMDP, spoke on behalf of her fellow trainees when she said: ‘By working with the different business functions and departments, I now have an understanding of the dynamics needed to operate a successful airline.I am continually impressed by Etihad Airways’ guest-focused approach and the experience I have gained here is invaluable. I now know what I need to do to ensure we satisfy passenger demands, regardless of the department I work in at Air Seychelles’.

Air Seychelles in recent weeks has scored plenty of brownie points with the Seychelles tourism fraternity as a result of introducing further code share deals which will now allow HM flight numbers to be put on Etihad flights to Melbourne and Sydney and with Czech Airlines for flights via Abu Dhabi, to Prague, which will undoubtedly help to market the archipelago’s unique tourism attractions to a much wider global audience. Previously signed similar deals have been put into place with South African Airways on the route to and from Johannesburg, where Air Seychelles operates regular flights, and with Air Berlin, another Etihad partners, for flights from their German destinations to Mahe, also via Abu Dhabi.

Watch this space for regular and breaking aviation news from the Indian Ocean region.

(Seen her at the centre are the Chairman of Air Seychelles and Seychelles Minister for Transport and Home Affairs, Mr. Joel Morgan, accompanied by the HM CEO Cramer Ball, the Chairman of the SCAA Capt. David Savy, Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, other Air Seychelles staff and the trainees)

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