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A group of 10 pilots from Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, has embarked on a seven-month Airbus A320 training program at the Etihad Airways Training Centre in Abu Dhabi.

As part of the program, the pilots will spend two weeks on a Jet Orientation Course to familiarise themselves with jet aircraft handling and operating characteristics, before moving to ground school, flight simulator training and then line training.

This will be followed by several months of operational flying on Etihad Airways’ regional network, following which the pilots will return to Seychelles and take up positions as First Officers on Air Seychelles’ Airbus A320 fleet.

The group of pilots, all Seychellois nationals, includes Allen Dubignon, Anthony D’Offay, Randy Francoise, Achilles Hoareau, Terry Louis-Marie, Ronny Morel, Julius Nancy, Shiv Padayachy, Phillipe Sorry and Archille Young.

Joël Morgan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Transport and Chairman of Air Seychelles, said: “I am delighted to see Air Seychelles continue its investment in further developing its infrastructure and our talented pool of Seychellois aviation professionals.

“This is another clear example of the benefits of our partnership with Etihad Airways, which provides Air Seychelles with capacity-building opportunities such as world-class training in Abu Dhabi, from where hundreds of our cabin crew and pilots have now graduated with flying colours.”

Air Seychelles currently operates two Airbus A320 aircraft, both registered under the Seychelles civil aircraft register, and named “Amirantes” (S7-AMI) and “Silhouette” (S7-SIL).

Roy Kinnear, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said:  “This training program will equip our pilots with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience required to fly the Airbus A320 aircraft.

“We strongly believe in placing people at the centre of our development strategy at Air Seychelles and providing our staff with opportunities for professional growth. This is an important element in ensuring that the national airline continues to grow sustainably with Seychellois talent. 

“We wish them all good luck as they enter this exciting new stage of their flying careers.”

Air Seychelles currently employs 57 Seychellois pilots, 24 in its domestic operations and 33 in its international operations.

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.