Air Seychelles to pause payments to partner Etihad Airways after president’s visit to UAE
The Seychelles’ national carrier, Air Seychelles, will not make any payment for its partnership agreement with Etihad Airways this year while further negotiations continue, State House said on Monday, following a visit to UAE by President Wavel Ramkalawan.
Ramkalawan made an official visit to UAE during the weekend accompanied by Sylvestre Radegonde, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism.
Further negotiations between the two airlines are based on the mode of payment for the debt accumulated and for the return of the Ethihad shares in order to reinstate the Seychelles’ national carrier as fully Seychellois-owned, State House added.
Another outcome of President’s Ramkalawan’s visit is that Seychelles will receive another 25,000 doses of the Covishield vaccine through a private donor. This will place the island nation in the western Indian Ocean on target to achieve its goal of vaccinating 70,000 of its people in order to attain herd immunity and be able to resume tourism activities by mid-March.
“The UAE government has confirmed the provision of specialist infrastructure support to Seychelles through a team of technicians to review two major upcoming projects. The first project is the La Digue Hospital Project currently in the planning stages and the second the Drug Rehabilitation Centre currently being proposed for relocation at the Ex-Mont Royal Site,” added State House.
Seychelles will also benefit from trained anti-narcotics sniffer dogs as part of the country’s efforts to further combat drug trafficking and the assistance will include specialist training for Seychellois law enforcement personnel.
State House said that Ramkalawan also sought budget support from the UAE Government either as a grant or a soft loan and a reply will soon be communicated.
Other areas for future cooperation included social development through the construction of homes for the elderly and assisting the Victoria Hospital Laboratory to improve its testing facilities.
During his visit to UAE, Ramkalawam also met with former President James Michel in his capacity as the current Chancellor of the University of Seychelles.
“Former President Michel has agreed to relinquish his position as the chancellor of the University and expressed his full support for government’s intention to make UniSey a State-owned University,” said State House.
Prior to his visit to UAE, Ramkalawan had met with the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Seychelles Joelle Perreau on the way forward for the institution.