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Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer, Manoj Papa, fastens Captain Gabriel’s epaulettes
Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer, Manoj Papa and Captain Confait
Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer, Manoj Papa flanked by Captain Gabriel and Captain Confait

Two seychellois promoted as captains on Air Seychelles

Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, today announced the promotion of two pilots on its domestic operations to the rank of Captain.

Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer, Manoj Papa presented the commander’s bars to Captain Julius Gabriel and Captain Ashley Confait, at the national airline’s head office, Seychelles International Airport. 

The new Twin Otter Commanders have successfully completed the company’s rigorous Command Upgrade Programme which included training on aircraft technical elements, emergency procedures and Crew Resource Management (CRM), as well as leadership and decision-making.

Mr Papa said: “Attaining the rank of Commander is a major achievement in a pilot’s career, particularly for pilots so young. The Commander’s bars symbolise, for all eyes and for all time,that its wearers have attained the highest degree of airmanship, and we congratulate Captain Gabriel and Captain Confait on their accomplishment.”

Hailing from La Gogue, 26 year old Captain Julius Gabriel, completed his ‘A’ levels at the Seychelles Polytechnic at Anse Royale in 2007. He has also completed one year training as a commercial pilot at the 43rd Air School in South Africa under the auspices of a Government of Seychelles scholarship.

Captain Ashley Confait, also 26 years old, comes from Anse la Mouche, and completed his ‘A’ levels at the Seychelles Polytechnic in 2007 following by a stint at the Ministry of Education for two years before enrolling for training with the Seychelles Defense Forces. He later enrolled for his Commercial Pilot License and worked for the Islands development Company for two years as a Senior First Officer, before finally joining Air Seychelles in October 2012.

Captain Gabriel said: “This is a very important moment in my life. I feel very proud of my achievement and I would like to thank Air Seychelles for having given me the opportunity and appropriate training to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a captain for our national airline. Now I aspire to become a captain on the Airbus”.

Captain Confait said: “This is likewise an exciting moment for me as well in my life and career. Being a Pilot is any boy’s dream but to become a Captain is something even more special and I would like to thank all who have made this happen for me. I will continue to aim higher until I one day become a Captain on our airline’s fleet of AirBus aircraft.”

Last October, in response to booming demand on its inter-island services, Air Seychelles purchased three new Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft, in a multi-million dollar deal which saw the iconic island carrier renew its domestic fleet. Earlier this month, the airline announced two of the twin otters will arrive in mid-2014, a full year ahead of schedule.

In response to growing demand for cargo transhipments to Seychelles, the airline also launched its first all-cargo domestic service to Praslin, with the Shorts 360 aircraft, operating Mondays.

Air Seychelles currently employs 54 Seychellois pilots: 8 Airbus Captains; 18 First Officers; 16 Twin Otter Captains, and 12 Twin Otter First Officers.

About Air Seychelles

Air Seychelles was established in 1978 and began long-haul service in 1983. The airline currently offers international flights to Johannesburg, Mauritius and Mumbai. Air Seychelles also offers more than 350 domestic scheduled flights a week throughout the archipelago, including domestic charter services. As the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, Air Seychelles is a pillar of tourism, the island nation’s strongest and growing economic sector. The airline maintains a strategic partnership with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and 40 per cent stakeholder.