Sunday, March 10, 2013

■ SEYCHELLES: One year on from Etihad tie up deal, Air Seychelles posts first profit (unofficially).

Air SeychellesOne year on from when Abu Dhabi-based carrier, Etihad Airways (EY), signed a Memorandum of Understanding to acquire a 40 per cent stake in then struggling Air Seychelles (HM), the Seychellois airline has unofficially posted a USD1million profit.

Air Seychelles second Airbus A330 arrives in Mahe
Air Seychelles second Airbus A330
arrives in Mahe (Air Seychelles)
The revelation was made during the recent delivery ceremony held in Mahé for Air Seychelles' second Airbus A330-200 dubbed Vallée de Mai.

During the ceremony, Seychelles Minister of Home Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan, spoke about the daunting task that confronted Air Seychelles management after posting losses of EUR12.5million for FY2010/2011:
Success embraces only those who have depth in their convictions, foresight in their decisions and courage in their actions. This is the story of the past 15 indelible months for Air Seychelles; a story that could be entitled: From crisis to recovery.

“When I review the immense challenge that we faced in January 2012 and that now I see our airline declaring a profit of one million dollars in under one year of recovery, I feel great pride and emotion for all the dedicated and loyal employees of Air Seychelles, and for us all, the people of Seychelles.
Source [The Nation]

In March 2012, Etihad signed a five-year deal with Air Seychelles worth USD65 million aimed at turning the island's state airline from a loss-maker into a profitable business.

Speaking in 2012, Etihad boss, James Hogan said of Air Seychelles at the time:
"What we saw was a good airline, but a bad business. What we also saw was that we could make this a great airline and a great business," said Mr Hogan

Previous audits of the airline had found that the financial losses were primarily due to the rise in fuel costs, high maintenance costs, exchange rate fluctuations and lower revenue levels compared to previous years.