Air Seychelles pursues Africa’s top rank
Manoj Papa in State House gardens following a meeting with Seychelles President James Michel on Thursday. (Mervyn Marie, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - National carrier Air Seychelles is currently ranked as the second best airline in Africa by Skytrax but it now eyes the continent’s top position, currently held by South African Airways.
The one step to the top target has been set by Air Seychelles’ new CEO Manoj Papa, who spoke about the target in an interview on Thursday.
Papa, who headed the SAA Commercial operations until January 2014, said he is excited with the airline’s good performance and that his vision is “to go on to the next level and to build on current successes and strategy.”
“My mandate is very clear. It is to ensure continued profitability, build a sustainable airline and also help in building the people within Seychelles. That’s our plan: to go to the next level. The people of Seychelles stand out really well. And I think what we can do is to build out and get that pride and the success of the Seychelles globally."
In 2012 Air Seychelles introduced two new Airbus 330-200 aircrafts and achieved a profit of million in 2013, the first year of profitability after several years of losses. Air Seychelles was named a 4-Star Airline by Skytrax at the beginning of January 2014.
“There are 30 cabin crew members being trained and I’ve told them we are a four-star airline but we need to act like a five-star carrier in everything we do at all points; from the time a customer engages with us up to the time he gets off with his baggage at the other destination. That, for me, would be the greatest thing with working with people. The results will show automatically.”
“The great thing is we have the chance of positioning ourselves as the best airline in Africa. Our cabin crew can position themselves as the best cabin crew, not just in Africa but as we grow, globally...I told the staff that the SAA has been holding the title of the best airline in Africa for 12 years consistently, but let us knock them off and be number 1.”
Papa said there are other forms of recognition Air Seychelles staff can aspire to gain, like the airline with the best cargo operations in Africa.
|On January 3 2014, Air Seychelles announced its 4-star ranking by Skytrax. Pictured: Staff of the airline together with Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Transport, Joel Morgan and Minister for Tourism and Culture , Alain St Ange. (Air Seychelles) Photo license: Attribution|
Air Seychelles was established in 1977 as Seychelles Airlines and adopted the present title in September 1978. Between 1978 and 2012 it was wholly owned by the Seychelles government but in the UAE's Etihad Airways bought a 40% share in the airline, investing million in Air Seychelles at the time of the share purchase which left the Seychelles government with the remaining 60% ownership.