Government committed to help Air Seychelles redeploy employees


President James Michel said yesterday the government is committed to ensure that former employees of the airline who will be redeployed are placed in employment as soon as is possible. He said the government will work with Air Seychelles and other airlines to explore the possibility of taking on some employees and with other sectors of the economy to see areas where expatriate employees could be replaced by Seychellois to ensure that everyone is placed in employment.

Mr Michel was speaking after holding bilateral talks with Didier Robert, the President of La Reunion region, in Seychelles to attend the joint tourism marketing meeting with the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB).

Mr Robert arrived in the country on Saturday for the three-day meeting accompanied by Pascal Viroleau, the head of tourism in Réunion. 

Mr Michel also attended the opening of the meeting held under the theme: ‘Raising Seychelles’ profile: Seizing every opportunity’, held at the Le Méridien Barbarons hotel.

Answering a question regarding the uncertainty being faced by Air Seychelles employees now that the airline is being restructured, Mr Michel accepted that he had words of encouragement for the staff when he visited them earlier this year. At that time he reassured them that the government will do whatever it can to ensure that they did not lose their job and the airline would continue its operation as the national airline.

“But today the situation has changed,” said Mr Michel.

He added that in spite of all goodwill, and the desire to do good things, often there are unforeseen circumstances upon which we have no control and in cases like that we have to be realistic and accept what we can and cannot do.

“Air Seychelles today is in a situation where it can no longer sustain its operations and the government is also in a situation where it can no longer sustain the airline, thus the decision for it to restructure and in the process it is inevitable that some employees are affected,” he said.

But he noted that the important thing is for them to be reemployed and use their expertise in other sectors of our economy.

Mr Michel again talked about the various situations that resulted in Air Seychelles’ present predicament.

“If we don’t do anything our economy would collapse. The government has the responsibility to ensure this does not happen,” he said adding that when there is a problem we have to find ways to address it.

“Even if we wish Air Seychelles could continue to serve the international routes, unfortunately the situation does not allow for that to continue and Air Seychelles has to find ways through more profitable markets to sustain itself,” he added.

Mr Michel said it is important for Air Seychelles to develop partnerships with other more powerful, prosperous and well-established airlines so as to ensure that tourists continue to fly here.

“I believe these are strategies that we need to develop and innovate fast in order to continue to survive in this globalised and evolving world. This applies not only to tourism but also to other sectors of our economy,” said the President.

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