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Captain Allen Dubignon, Chief Pilot Domestic (left), and Manoj Papa, Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer (right), fasten Captain Mein’s commander’s bars
Captain Sandy Benoiton, Head of Crew Training (left) and Manoj Papa, Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer (right), fasten Captain Morel’s epaulettes as he holds a model of the Twin Otter aircraft he now commands
Captain Granger Narara, Head of Flight Operations (left), and Manoj Papa, Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer (right), congratulate Captain Romain on his promotion
(From left) Alan Renaud, General Manager Corporate Affairs, Allen Dubignon, Chief Pilot Domestic, Captain Russel Morel, Captain Sandy Benoiton, Head of Crew Training, Captain Juan Romain, Captain Bertrand Mein, Manoj Papa, Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer, and Captain Granger Narara, Head of Flight Operations, pose for a souvenir photograph

Air Seychelles promotes three Seychellois pilots to Captain

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

Captains Bertrand Mein, Russell Morel, and Juan Romain were presented with their commander’s bars at the airline’s head office in Anse des Genêts.

Fastening their epaulettes, Manoj Papa, Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “Attaining the rank of captain is a proud milestone for any pilot, and I am delighted that Bertrand, Russell and Juan have achieved it at such a young age. Our domestic business is a great career path for talented Seychellois, and I am particularly pleased that the training was carried out by our very own pilots.”

The new Twin Otter commanders were promoted after successfully completing an intensive Command Upgrade Program which included refresher courses on aircraft technical data, emergency procedures, Crew Resource Management (CRM), decision-making and leadership.

Captain Mein, 25, lives in Reef Estate and has been flying with Air Seychelles for four years. He completed his secondary studies at Independent School, before enrolling with the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces for three months. He later transitioned to the 43rd Air School in South Africa, where he completed his flying training. Captain Mein said: “This is a very important achievement for me, which signifies that I can now take on more responsibilities as a pilot and extend my flying experience.”

Captain Morel, who is also 25, hails from Takamaka and completed his A-Levels at Anse Royale Secondary School, before setting his sights on a career in aviation and heading overseas to attend the 43rd Air School in South Africa. He has spent three years working with Air Seychelles. Captain Morel said: “I chose to take up aviation as it was a challenge and I was fascinated by how aircraft operate. I’m excited to become a captain as it represents a brand new chapter in my career and it’s something I’ve been working towards.”

Captain Romain, 26, from Forêt Noire, completed his jet and turbine engine training in South Africa before coming to work for Air Seychelles four years ago. Captain Romain said: “This is a life-changing moment. When you first start out as a pilot, your biggest aim is to become a captain, and finally reaching this milestone is a great achievement.”

In July, Air Seychelles took delivery of two modern DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft, both of which have been well received by the airline’s pilots flying domestic routes. A third Twin Otter aircraft will join the fleet in 2015, allowing the carrier to cater to the ever-growing demand for more flights between the islands, and enhance the flow of trade and tourism within the archipelago.

Mr. Papa added, “Our new twin otters have been well-received by the public, and with the new business they have generated, we have cemented the long-term career prospects of our employees. We are able to offer our Seychellois pilots a robust training programme that includes local instruction as well as access to world-class training facilities in Abu Dhabi, thanks to our equity partner Etihad Airways. This ensures the needs of our airline are well supported into the future.”

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.