AIR SEYCHELLES STAFF COMPLETE TRAINING AT ETIHADS ACADEMY IN ABU DHABI
Information was received overnight that the first group of Air Seychelles staff had successfully completed their training programme and were type rated for the A330 and the A320, which have already joined the Air Seychelles fleet on a wet lease from partner airline Etihad. 18 cabin crew members were presented with their course certificates in the presence of Home Affairs and Transport Minister Joel Morgan, who had travelled with Air Seychelles CEO Cramer Bell to Abu Dhabi to witness the occasion.
The second such course for Air Seychelles cabin crew is presently ongoing and a third group has left Mahe for Abu Dhabi last weekend it is understood. Type rating courses are also underway for cockpit crew and engineers, who require the conversion course to be able to fly on and maintain Airbus aircraft.
The Seychelles national airline, now 40 percent owned by Etihad, used to operate a fleet of 5 B767-200 and B767-300 aircraft but has since the restructuring started in October 2011 returned most of them to lessor ILFC and is now operating one wet leased A330-200 and one A320. These two aircraft types, already in use by Etihad, will form the new fleet back bone as the search for new routes on the African continent, where the A320 could be deployed, is underway. On long haul routes, where the focus in now in East Asia, when sufficient crew have been trained on the new aircraft, Air Seychelles will get A330 aircraft though it could not be ascertained at this stage if the new birds will be seconded by Etihad or acquired directly on lease from ILFC where a quid pro quo situation appears to be in place. Watch this space for regular aviation news from the Indian Ocean islands.