ETIHAD TEAM MOVES IN AT AIR SEYCHELLES
As February 01 dawns now over the Seychelles will the acquisition of the 40 percent shareholding in national airline Air Seychelles by Abu Dhabi’s Etihad become legally effective and a team of managers, seconded by one the Gulf’s leading airlines, is expected to move in today to strengthen the various processes now going underway to align and synchronise the efforts to restructure Air Seychelles and return it to profitability, partly by using synergy effects coming out of the quasi take over.
Cramer Ball, formerly Etihad’s General Manager for Asia, Pacific and Australasia will assume the role as Chief Executive Officer at Air Seychelles, and Shelley Cole will with immediate effect become Chief Finance Officer at the airline. Other support staff for the two top executives is also reported to be on site already in Victoria, bringing in expertise and aimed to establish a forward looking working relationship with the existing Air Seychelles staff.
It was also learned from a reliable aviation source from the Gulf that Etihad will shortly announce a timeframe for the increase in frequencies from presently 4 a week to daily services between Abu Dhabi and Mahe, in order to attract more traffic under the code share arrangements where designated flights from across Europe and the rest of the Etihad network will also bear an Air Seychelles flight number to keep ‘HM’ visible.
No word could be received inspite of repeated efforts on the fate of Mr. Bram Stellar, who had only joined Air Seychelles as Chief Executive in October last year and who embarked in an immediate cost-saving programme and cutting down of the airlines routes, first dropping Singapore and then in a bombshell announcement phasing out all European destinations like London, Paris, Milan and Rome. Bram came from Kenya Airways, where he served a second spell as highly respected Chief Operating Officer.
Watch this space for breaking news from the Indian Ocean islands and the Eastern African aviation scene always first to report the latest developments.