Air Seychelles is supporting a national campaign to control the outbreak of hairy caterpillars, believed to be Euproctis fraterna, by sponsoring the air freighting of equipment and chemicals from South Africa to Seychelles.
The caterpillar is responsible for major defoliation of local plant species and is known to cause a painful skin irritation and allergic reactions.
Roy Kinnear, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, presented Didier Dogley, Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, with six state-of-the-art insect foggers at a handover ceremony this morning at the Air Seychelles Cargo Terminal.
Wallace Cosgrow, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture and Paul Labaleine, Director General for the Department of Disaster and Risk Management (DRDM), also attended the ceremony.
A shipment of 1,008 litres of insecticide will arrive in Seychelles on Sunday 12 July, and more consignments will be imported in line with requirements from DRDM, which is leading the campaign.
Mr Kinnear said: “We are pleased to play an active role in the national effort to control the caterpillar infestation, not only to protect the environment of Seychelles, our biggest selling point as a destination, but to ensure the wellbeing of the local community, our staff and visitors to the islands.
“As a primary economic enabler of Seychelles, the airline is fully behind the programme to control and prevent the spread of this pest, which will minimise the threat it poses to the tourism and hospitality sectors of the economy.”
Minister Dogley said: “I would like to thank Air Seychelles for helping to fly in specialised equipment which is essential for us to implement the intensive fogging operation we have planned for Mahé and other affected islands.
“Being able to count on the airline for logistical support makes the containment programme more affordable, and is greatly appreciated by the Government of Seychelles.
“We are looking forward to putting this consignment to good use and making a real difference in combating the pest.”
About Air Seychelles
Air Seychelles was established in 1978 and began long-haul service in 1983. The airline currently offers international flights to Abu Dhabi, 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.