New liberalised air access environment-Government reassures local airline of its support


16-July-2004

The reassuring message was delivered by the Minister for Economic Planning, Jacquelin Dugasse, who told the airline’s senior management at a meeting on Thursday, that the Government would continue to support one of its most important assets – the tourism insurance policy which the airline and its staff represent.

The rapid advent of Emirates and Qatar on the national airline scene has caused concerns among Air Seychelles staff that there would be immediate re-structuring of the company leading to redundancies.

Minister Dugasse said that Government was working closely with the airline’s senior management to look at the best options and way forward, which could range from downsizing, in the worst case scenario, to actually consolidating the airline’s position, if the right partnerships and models can be found.

Minister Dugasse has already started chairing a committee of public and private sector stakeholders which has been meeting twice a week to study all the options.

“For the time being”, he said, “the national airline continues to operate as is, while we study the best way forward”.

“The new air access policy does pose challenges for our national airline, but the government strongly believes that it could also bring new opportunities. And one of our greatest strengths is the 700-strong team of dedicated and professional workforce that we have built in the airline,” Minister Dugasse told Air Seychelles’ senior management staff at Thursday’s meeting.

It became clear from Thursday’s meeting that the new air access policy would need to be accompanied by a major re-look at the Seychelles tourism product if Seychelles is to successfully sustain the important increase in flights and frequencies from Europe to Seychelles.

On this front, the Minister made it known that the committee which he is chairing has been mandated to look at all aspects which impact on the Seychelles tourism industry, with a view to advising Government on the best way forward by the end of this month.

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