Court date set for September 13 for Air Seychelles' creditors; gov't intervenes
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court set September 13 as the date for the hearing. (Seychelles Judiciary)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles' government has filed an application to intervene in the petition for the winding up of Air Seychelles by the Apex Trustees Bondholders in a court appearance on Monday.
The government's lawyer, Joel Camille, filed the application before Rony Govinden, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who set September 13 as the date for the hearing.
Aside from the Apex Trustees Bondholders, two other creditors of Air Seychelles have also come forward.
Audric Adrienne, who is assisting Rene Durup in the petition case, told reporters that as per the legal procedure "we put notices in the newspapers and official gazette for possible creditors of Air Seychelles to come forward. Today we informed the court that two of them came forward."
"We have a new application from the government of Seychelles that they are interested in intervening in the case. The court has given us a timeframe to respond to the application. The court also gave Air Seychelles time to have its affidavit in response and they informed the court that they will oppose the application,' he added.
The petition by Apex Trustees Bondholders was filed on August 19 for the winding up of Air Seychelles to recuperate investments made in the airline. The representative of the bondholders said the petition was filed because to date, there had been no substantive engagement, nor any sense of urgency, concerning the airline's situation, from either Air Seychelles or its sole shareholder, the government of Seychelles.
The Principal Secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Alain Renaud, who was present at the Supreme Court, told reporters that the government wanted to support Air Seychelles with this case as it owns 99 percent of the airline's shares.
"For the time being there will be no disruption in the daily operations of Air Seychelles, as this is something we expected to happen. It is part of the normal process," he said.
In April this year, the Ministry of Finance had announced that it had reached a deal to take full ownership of Air Seychelles, which is being represented by Bernard Georges in this case, following talks with Etihad Airways in which the UAE-based airline agreed to relinquish the 40 percent stake it holds at a steep discount.
Air Seychelles had owed $72.3 million to Etihad; with the 79 percent write-down, Seychelles is to pay $11.34 million. A total of $71.5 million is still owed to bondholders.
Etihad Airways entered a partnership with Air Seychelles in 2012, when it bought a 40 percent share in the national airline. The remaining 60 percent belonged to the government of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.