Air Seychelles bade farewell to one of its longest serving pilots and aviation pioneer, Captain Francois Jackson on Thursday 17 August 2023 as he touched down at the Seychelles International Airport for the last time on his final flight HM048 from Mauritius. The flight was greeted by a traditional water cannon salute in honour of Captain Jackson for his many years of service.
Francois has enjoyed an illustrious career and to attempt to cover it all in one article will prove difficult.
His fascination with planes stem from his growing up in Uganda and being surrounded by them. His father, Bill, also a local legend in his own right with the role he has played in Seychelles’ aviation, shared his love of planes. This fascination developed into a yearning to fly, and so, the journey began. After his initial private training at the Aeroclub in Seychelles, he then furthered his studies in the United States. Francois joined Air Seychelles in the early 1980s as one of the very few Seychellois pilots, along with Captain David Savy who had also recently joined, and together they instructed and paved the way for other, now well known, Seychellois pilots such as France Tamboo, Norman Mousbe, Andre Payet and Steven Quilindo to name a few. At the time, the very thought of becoming a pilot was quite an audacious one.
Captain Jackson recalls his career with Air Seychelles as the best years of his life, as flying is something he genuinely loves and was never considered work. He has had the opportunity to fly for Etihad Airways and Vietnam Airlines in between but the pull of Seychelles and supporting the national airline was too great. The appeal was the lifestyle, where he could balance work and leisure and not the busy, lonely rosters of bigger airlines. At Air Seychelles, he was a part of the team, a name, and not merely a staff number.
Asked to impart some advice to the new generation, Captain Jackson encourages the young aspiring pilots to persevere with the job, as aviation can be a vulnerable industry. His advice is also not to focus on the money and to keep mentally and physically alert always.
After four decades in the air, Captain Jackson hangs his cap and looks forward to a well-deserved, relaxing retirement with his closest and dearest.
The Management and Staff of Air Seychelles all join together to wish Captain Jackson a Happy Retirement and to thank him for all his years of service with the national airline where his impact has been immense. His legacy will go down history.
About Air Seychelles
The Seychelles national carrier has been flying for over 45 years. Wholly owned by the Government of Seychelles, the carrier operates regionally from its home in Mahe to Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Colombo and Mauritius with state of the art Airbus A320neo’s. Domestically the carrier operates up to 30 roundtrips a day to Praslin, the second largest island in the archipelago, along with various charters to other islands on its twin-otter fleet.
In 2022, Air Seychelles managed to retain the most coveted title of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline’ at the 29th edition of the World Travel Awards as well as, ‘Indian Ocean's Leading Airline Business Class', 'Indian Ocean's Leading Cabin Crew' and 'Indian Ocean's Leading Airline Lounge.'
Information contained in this press release is accurate at the time of publication.