The Chief Executive of the national airline, Roy Kinnear, has resigned and will be leaving his role on December 31, 2017.
The Chairman of the Air Seychelles board Mr. Jean Weeling-Lee confirmed on Tuesday that Mr. Kinnear is leaving to pursue a further opportunity.
In a communication sent to the staff Mr. Weeling-Lee said: “It is important that we stay focused on business priorities in the coming weeks and months ahead of us, and on behalf of the Board, I ask for your continued support during this transition period.”
Roy Kinnear joined Air Seychelles in July 2015, from Air Seychelles’ strategic partner, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, where he previously held the position of Senior Vice President of Revenue Management and Planning since 2011.
Boasting over 30 years of airline industry experience, with expertise in revenue management, he was tasked with using his extensive experience in leading Etihad’s revenue management, inventory control, pricing, and revenue forecasting to drive sales and extend Air Seychelles’ network deeper into Europe and Asia.
Commenting on Mr. Kinnear’s imminent departure, the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Ambasaddor Maurice Loustau-Lalanne said his decision has taken most people by surprise.
“Roy understood the business, he integrated well with the tourism trade in Seychelles and he had a lot to offer, but he has decided to resign from Etihad Airways for him to take up a new job with a European airline, a much bigger airline than Air Seychelles,” said Minister Loustau-Lalanne.
“He wanted to go earlier but following discussions, we have agreed that he will only leave now at the end of December 2017, as the decision has come at a critical moment as Air Seychelles has some turbulent times ahead,” he added.
Air Seychelles is set to face increased competition in light of the new airline dynamics in the country, including recent announcements that two big European carriers British Airways and Air France – through its new sister airline ‘Joon’ – will be resuming direct flights to Seychelles in 2018.
Minister Loustau-Lalanne said: “We look to Etihad Airways to very quickly propose a replacement CEO to the chairman of Air Seychelles who will take it to the board and a decision will be taken on Mr Kinnear’s replacement. Once chosen the replacement will have to double up with Mr. Kinnear for at least one month before he leaves in December 2017….we will ensure there is proper handover and proper continuity.”
Air Seychelles maintains a strategic partnership with Etihad Airway, which bought a 40 percent stake in the company in 2012, investing $45 million after the national carrier, which until then was wholly owned by the Seychelles government, ran into financial difficulties.
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