Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Today the Seychelles Airport has Air Seychelles handling its operational facilities. Long ago this service was handled by another company called Aviation Seychelles. It was efficient, independent and it made money. ASL Group did us proud, serving all airlines landing here with the same care and attention with no special interest in one airline over another. Everyone had the same treatment with the interest of Seychelles as its guiding mission. No complaints were received and all airlines were very satisfied with the Seychelles airport operations and services. Unfortunately we cannot claim the same feedback today…

It is therefore vital for us to relook at the current scenario as there are numerous complaints from the other carriers who feel that they are not being serviced as they should. Some are even looking at the possibility of positioning an entire operational team to look after their flights. The airport handling is not up to scratch and it is important to review the situation in order to provide a more efficient service that is independent of the national carrier.

Air Seychelles is not in a position to deliver the best services as it is in a very precarious situation. It currently needs and injection of capital from government (taxpayers) for its survival. So instead of looking at its operating costs and large overheads it is conveniently being bailed out. The airline has a huge salary burden for its army of non- Seychellois management team (CEO & wife, marketing director, Paris office with at least 5 foreigners). We gather that the CEO (Rajiv Brisseur) is on a monthly salary of US$ 10,000 plus perks. And yet, there is no designated understudy to this Mauritian who has been in the post for several years. This indeed makes a mockery of the government’s policies to localize all posts while at the same time it lays off workers under the voluntary departure scheme. There is no doubt that these expats are responsible for the big black hole of Air Seychelles. It is the one hole that no amount of profit can fill. Government needs to OBLIGE Air Seychelles to localize these positions, all of them, if they expect the country to follow suit. What is Minister Mondon doing about that? How many companies have to comply with employment of small fish while the big whales are simply ignored and protected? We often hear of the proportion of Seychellois staff working in Air Seychelles, but let us look at the value of the salaries of the dozen or so foreigners versus the hundreds of Seychellois. Why leave only the crumbs for the Seychellois when the whole bread is being taken from under our nose by those most fortunate?

Our dependence on foreigners in these management positions at Air Seychelles constitutes an about turn to the colonial days – we have indeed gone back in time! Government needs to allow a new structure to move in at the airport and provide a service that is independent from all airlines landing here. We need airlines to feel welcome here. We cannot defend the point that Air Seychelles is playing with the services it is providing to give itself an edge instead on working to improve its standards to earn the edge it needs with which to compete. It is a well known fact today for example that Air Seychelles will not operate domestic flights to connect with early departures of Emirates and Qatar flights. This is a sad situation as the domestic flights are operated only when there are Air Seychelles flights. It is detrimental to the destination as a whole as it is a very short sighted vision.

We are also receiving many complaints on the UK flights by both Seychellois and tourists. Is that really the Creole Spirit? We are begging President James Michel to experience that run between Seychelles to London. You will never want to experience it twice.

The staff on board have our sympathy, because they are in the front line and have to receive all the anger from passengers who are frustrated with the food on offer, with the entertainment system that does not work and with having to bear being on a flight working to bring tourists and Mauritians to Mauritius instead of to Seychelles.

The time has come for our Fair Trading Commission to get involved and examine the disparity in the price of air tickets to Mauritius (two and a half hours more than Seychelles) when compared to the cost of flights to Seychelles. This has resulted in numerous complaints by Seychellois travelling on that flight to London, but worst still it is also a bone of contention that every tourism operator has - it is cheaper for tourists to go to Mauritius on Air Seychelles than to hop out here in Seychelles.

We can set the scene for the Fair Trading Commission. There is Mauritian Company in London that sells tickets on Air Seychelles to Mauritians and tourists to travel via Seychelles and connect for another two and a half hour flight again on Air Seychelles to Mauritius. The flights to Mauritius are cheaper than the flights to Seychelles. Is there any logic in that? Is Air Seychelles looking at the Seychelles economy or are they too bothered with taking care of the Mauritius economy? This is such a sad state of affairs and the authorities need to get involved to put some order back into this madness.


Anonymous said...

Surely there are quite a number of very well educated and capable young men and women in the Seychelles who can do the work of all these foreigners. Some 20 years ago or more, it was legislation in the Seychelles that unless a company was really not able to find a local person (a Seychellois) to do the work and prove so, then only they was that company allowed to hire from abroad! What happened to this law?

It seems that all the hard work that Mr. St.Ange is doing, recruiting Tourism Ambassadors overseas to get more tourists to the Seychelles is a waste of time if the one important bit is gone to the dogs!
Ones holiday should indeed start with a good flight, good service, and reasonable food. After all it is not cheap to fly to the Seychelles let alone spend a week or so. What a lot of people do not realise is that a good 90% of the folk who visit Seychelles, return home to work their butts off to pay the big credit card bill and the loan taken out for a once in a lifetime holiday. So they do expect the best from the onset!

Customer surveys and complaints should be collated and presented to the Tourist, Air Seychelles and escallated to the top.

Anonymous said...

Emirates used to fly in and out of Seychelles with a few passengers now they are always full, why is that, simply because they are better, much better than 'cattle class' Air Seychelles.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Christopher. Air Seychelles Airport handling is a disgrace. It is inneficient. The queing is outrageous even when there is only one aeroplane waiting to depart.

We promote this Country as a five star destination but we excel in providing three star services. Five Star is not simply about the accomodation, it should be the whole package!

Once again, you have to question the Management of Air Seychelles as surely it must be their responsibility to uphold and improve standards as well as identify failures and come up with solutions.

The current checking in system is not working and it needs to be sorted out please Mr. Lt.
Colonel David Savy,Chairman and CEO of Air Seychelles.

Man Friday

Patrick X said...

What happened to tha law? The same thing that happened to every law that would prevent the PL top guys frm increasing their personal fortunes: It got by-passed, just like our immigration that has allowed 2000 workers on Khalifa's palace to operate without permits, insurance etc. The same as our duty regulations that has allowed the import of SUVs for DR25 per piece when they could have brought in millions.

Maybe Tiklor & co can tell us what went wrong or can't they talk now as their tongues are too busy elsewhere?

Patrick X

Anonymous said...

Nothing is working at Air Seychelles as it is the case in all the country's institutions .
PP effete government doesn't have any solutions to offer to the problems they created.
To fix our problems we need to deal with the roots of the problems namely by getting PP out of power.
Wev can't afford ourselves to continue letting our land be ruled by such an irresponsible and failed government.

Jeanne D'Arc

Anonymous said...

Our tourism industry needs to be restructed and designed to create a modern,efficient industry-in a proactive move to cement an already enviable performance in this sector.

In furtherance ,essential airlift must be ensured and a master plan for sustainable tourism development must be reviewed.

PP has been too late in acting, as needless to say while our neighbours have been diligently pursuing the same opportunities while we have ignored them.

The world is changing and our country must follow suit in order to stay top.

Jeanne D'Arc

Anonymous said...

Tourism taxes have become an increasely trendy pick for the government hoping to raise additional revenue to cover increases in government spending.But hiking already-taxes on hotels,airline fights and other tourism necessities brings on a slew of problems.

Policymakers should know better than to place additional durbens on struggling industries during a recession.
Unfortuantely,the government sees these taxes as an easy way to tap additional revenues .But such hikes tax have serious consequences on the industry.

Instead of kicking an industry while it is down,state should focus on reining in their budgets by eliminating subsidized development schemes.

It is worth and vital to create a non-distorting tax code with low rates and broad base,coupled with spending reforms.
This way only things can improve for the better.


Anonymous said...

How much is a flight to Seychelles and how much is a flight to mauritius on air seychelles?

It would be more convincing if the blogger can give actual figures to back up the claim.

Anonymous said...

Sir ,clarifies the departure point,then we will give you the exact tariff.

Anonymous said...

Troukler constantly talks sense, get him on the STAR committee.

Parag said...

The root cause of improper service at the Seychelles airport is its governing body. Seychelles is a beautiful island and people want to visit here to explore its beauty. You don't want them to have unsatisfied experience entering the island and hence reduce tourism.

Anonymous said...

The STB and th SCAA will very soon see new members on their Board. When we know who these new members are, we will know whether the government is truly willing to change the status quo and put people (Seychellois) who are knowledgeable, have wide experience and not only placed there as a new face simply because they are long-time SPPF supporters. Several such hypocrites have been lobbying for such positions to simply prop up their image. Will someone like Freddy Karkaria be again offered a position on either Board? Or is his wide knowledge, experience and frankness of expression too much for some to swallow? He was on the STB and SCAA Boards, but as soon as Maurice Lalanne was made Chairman, he and David Savy ensured he was removed from both. Why? There are also others like Mr. Karkaria who can contribute without fear and effectively add value on both SCAA and STB Boards. Will President Michel have the courage and the foresight to make such non-partisan decisions by ignoring the false suggestions/advice of the hypocrites and power hungry that grovel around the Presidency? Let us wait and see. We will know in a week or two....Ca changera ou ca ne changera pas!

A Seychellois businessman in the Tourism industry.

Anonymous said...

Regards to our Toursim industry and the STB. What I would like to know is - what is the ultimate objective that Alain StAnge has set for himself? Many have said he is an astute and successful politician and election campaigner and thus the best person to replace Wavel as leader of SNP. But he seems set to take a firm place at the top of the STB with President Michel as Minister responsible for Tourism. After CEO of STB, what will be Mr StAnge's next step? Food for thought....

Anonymous said...

I very much agree with this article.

Seychelles Employers should be importing foreign labour to do the menial jobs such as gardeners and maids, while Seychellois should be in mid to upper level management.

It is time to change the employment laws to allow anyone to import foreign labour as and when they see fit. The Government should not have any quotas as the Employers know their businesses better than the Government. How can a clerk in the Ministry of Employment determine who should be hired? That clerk should be there to process the application only. The Government would then collect the necessary GOP fees.

Just imagine what a dynamic labour force we would then have in Seychelles. For those who are against this idea, I urge them to watch the number of jobs that are shown on SBC TV every Sunday evening. We must remember that when a new hotel like Ephelia or Raffles open, they need 500 to 700 NEW employees. If someone resigns from his current job to take a job at that new hotel, the older hotel has to replace that person. So we are looking at NEW jobs. The problem is our working population is not changing. Thus there is a great need to import labour and SPPF is playing games as usual and saying there are enough jobs for SEychellois. The only Seychellois not working are the lazy ones on welfare, the drug dealers and drug users, the baka drinkers and the pti men who are sitting idly by the road side or breaking into our homes. Heck, even the prostitutes are working hard at night.

And by the way, allowing workers into the country does not mean that the workers can apply for citizenship. The workers would receive an annual work permit only and not a residency permit. Ninety days before their contract expires, the Employer can decide whether to renew their contract of not. This would be just like renewing a license at SLA and should not be complicated.

This influx of foreign labour into the local market will have one other adverse effect. It would get those lazy people who are on welfare to get off their lazy butts and get to work. It has been proven that when you are hungry and there is no welfare to be had, the people actually get off their settee, stop watching soap operas and actually go out and work.

SPPF and Minister Macsuzy Mondon, wake up and smell the coffee. Take some serious decisions if you are to lead this country out of the mess created by SPPF. As for Michel, maybe he can tell us why his friend the Sheik brought in the labour to build his palace at La Misere. Do you think that the palace would be up by now if the contractor had to wait for Seychellois labourers? Let us stop all this bullshit and move quickly to change these archaic laws. Dubia has grown because of foreign labour. Even the pyramids of Egypt were built with foreign labour, even if they were slaves. The American cotton fields were manned by slaves from Africa. Stop kidding ourselves to think that we have a great working populace. With barely 40,000 people working and half working for an inefficient Government, that leaves only 20,000 people left to hire.

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