Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, has celebrated the graduation of 12 Seychellois nationals who have successfully completed career development programs with Etihad Airways.

The group of four graduate managers, seven cadet engineers and one cadet pilot were presented with certificates at a ceremony held at the prestigious Al Raha Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi by James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways.

Roy Kinnear, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said: “We congratulate each of our 12 new graduates on completing their training with Etihad Airways, which has equipped them with the skills, experience and qualifications to take up key positions at Air Seychelles.

“This group represents the next generation of Seychellois leaders in aviation and to see them do so well is a very proud moment for us all.”

Graduate managers Elsie Hurst, Elvis Uranie, Joel Bacharie and Magalie Essack are the first cohort of Seychellois trainees to complete the Graduate Management Development Program (GMDP), a 21 month workplace learning course where members receive on-the-job training and are rotated through key Etihad Airways departments before focusing on a specialized airline function.

The graduates started the course in 2012 and have now returned to management level positions at Air Seychelles.

Mr Kinnear added: “As the national airline of the Seychelles, one of our top priorities is to train and develop home-grown talent across all areas of the airline business and we are delighted to partner with Etihad Airways to achieve this important goal.

“Etihad Airways operates some of the most advanced aviation educational facilities in the world and provides our graduate managers, engineers and pilots with unrivalled career development opportunities.”

Graduating engineers Marios Desylva, Marlon Nourrice, Antoine Francois, Clifton Leon, Damien Azemia, Erol Agricole and Herve Toulon started the Cadet Engineer program in 2012 and completed two years of classroom training at Al Ain in 2014.

The graduates are currently gaining experience in aircraft maintenance at Abu Dhabi International Airport following which they will join Air Seychelles in the Technical Operations department, working on its fleet of modern Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft.

The ceremony also saw Kevin Kumar graduate from the cadet pilot program.  Kevin completed 750 hours of classroom sessions and 205 hours of flight training in single and multi-engine aircraft and is now flying with Air Seychelles as a First Officer on the Twin Otter aircraft which is operated domestically.

This is the first of numerous graduate management programs aiming to embed Seychellois talent back into management positions in Air Seychelles in the years ahead.  Currently, Air Seychelles has thirteen graduates undergoing training in Abu Dhabi and are at various stages of their training.  Areas in which Graduate Managers will specialize are: Corporate Communications, HR, IT, E-commerce, Finance, Catering and Product,   Revenue Management, Airport Operations, Internal Audit and Commercial Sales.

The graduation was attended by senior management from Air Seychelles led by Abdulmohsen Al Sayegh, Air Seychelles Chief Financial Officer.  

Additional information on graduate managers:

  • Elsie Hurst was placed in the Hala Travel Management and Revenue department at Etihad Airways, which provides travel consultancy services, as part of her specialization in the GMDP program. After completing the course, she joined Air Seychelles as Sponsorships and Communications Manager in Corporate Affairs. Upon graduating, she said: “I feel privileged to be one of the first Seychellois to graduate from the program, which provided me with a well-rounded understanding of the airline business and prepared me for my current role at Air Seychelles. The experience of living in Abu Dhabi and meeting other graduate managers from around the world has given me confidence and I look forward to putting everything I have learned into practice.”
  • Joel Bacharie spent four months in Etihad Airways Management Reporting and seven months with the Internal Audit team. He specialized in internal auditing and is currently Acting Manager Internal Audit at Air Seychelles. Joel said: “The program allowed me to work with many experienced professionals, who taught and shared with me valuable skills and knowledge. It was a challenging course that enhanced my ability to be decisive and proactive and taught me a great deal about the airline industry. I found life in Abu Dhabi to be interesting, enriching and character-building.”
  • Elvis Uranie spent six months in Corporate Strategy and Network Planning in Etihad Airways and is currently Network and Planning Manager in Air Seychelles. He said: “This was a demanding but rewarding program which gave me a deeper appreciation of the many factors involved for airline to successfully launch a route, develop its network and use its fleet in the most efficient way possible. It has been a very beneficial course that has kick-started my career in aviation and I am thankful to both Air Seychelles and Etihad Airways for the opportunity.”   
  • Magalie Essack was given a placement in the Etihad Airways Corporate Strategy and Alliances department and is now Alliances and Government Affairs Manager in Air Seychelles. She said: “The program provided me with invaluable experience across the airline business and especially on the many dynamics involved in forming and maintaining codeshare partnerships and other forms of cooperation between carriers. With this knowledge I have been able to transition smoothly to a similar department at Air Seychelles where I am putting my skills and knowledge to good use.”

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, Mauritius, and Colombo with state- of-the-art Airbus A320NEOs. 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 2023, Air Seychelles was awarded the coveted titles of ‘World’s Leading Airline to the Indian Ocean’, at the 30th edition of the World Travel Awards as well as, ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline Economy Class’ and ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline Brand’


Information contained in this press release is accurate at the time of publication.