Air Seychelles congratulates Melita Gilbert on her success in Miss Deaf Africa 2015, where she was crowned Second Princess. Melita, who is 18 years old and lives on Praslin, outshone contestants from countries such as Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe to win the title at a glamorous finale held in South Africa.

Miss Deaf Africa recognises the talents of people with a hearing disability and celebrates the role that many play in their communities across Africa.

Air Seychelles supported Melita by sponsoring return tickets to South Africa for her and Anita Gardner, a sign language interpreter and the chairperson of the Association of People with Hearing Impairments (APHI).

Manoj Papa, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said: “We are thrilled for Melita and congratulate her on a fantastic achievement in Miss Deaf Africa, a competition that highlights the cultural diversity, talent and potential of women with hearing loss.

“Melita is an inspiring example that a hearing disability should not hold you back from pursuing your dreams, a message that is aligned to our values.”

Communicating through an interpreter, Melita said: “I am so happy to have won the title of Second Princess. Taking part in the pageant was an unforgettable experience and to be crowned is just overwhelming.

“It was my first time travelling abroad, and I really enjoyed meeting other participants who also experience, yet overcome, hearing loss.

“I would like to thank Air Seychelles for supporting the travel arrangements for the pageant, and look forward to using my experience to inspire Seychellois youth.”

In July, Melita will represent Seychelles in the Miss Deaf World pageant taking place in Prague. Air Seychelles has previously supported the Association of People with Hearing Impairments by

sponsoring air travel for sign language teachers and importing baking and sewing equipment to empower members of the deaf community to become small business owners.

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, Mumbai and Tel Aviv. 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.