By Alain St.Ange of SAINT ANGE CONSULTANCY
Welcome to Edition #18 of 2018
The Editorial this week highlights the first anniversary of the 11 May 2017 UNWTO Elections for the position of Secretary General, JOON of Air France landing in Seychelles and Seychelles Airlines putting its final touches. It also touches on Turkish Airline set to link Comoros to Istanbul via Seychelles and ends with the launch of a New Book on Art in Seychelles and the Reunion Volcano that is again in full activity . Stand Alone articles in this Issue cover:-
1. Denis Private Island turns back the clock with Creole nights of centuries past.
2. Salwa Razzouk is Resort Manager at Raffles Seychelles.
3. Alain St.Ange meets Prefet and President of La Reunion.
4. Air France’s new sister airline ‘Joon’ has made its inaugural flight to Seychelles.
5. Turkish Airline to launch Comoros via Seychelles from Istanbul from 18 June .
6. Seychelles Airline working on final plans.
7. General Manager for AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort and Spa made the difference.
8. Volcano at Reunion providing a spectacle for all to see.
9. First look at new Channel 4 comedy High and Dry (Filmed in Seychelles).
10. Art in Seychelles, a new book about the arts in Seychelles.
11. Former Brazil & Real Madrid forward Baptista arrives in Zimbabwe.
12. International Newswires continue to republish our Report.
11 May 2017 was the UNWTO Elections for the position of Secretary General
I was the former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine. I resigned from this Ministerial position in December 2016 to run for the position of Secretary General of the UNWTO but my candidacy was abruptly pulled out of the race by the Seychelles Government only two days before the elections following certain demands made by the African Union. The letter issued by the African Union threatened serious economic sanctions on the islands if they did not revoke their candidacy for the prestigious role of Secretary General, effectively undermining the sovereignty of Seychelles.
Vice President Vincent Meriton of Seychelles called me, while I was already in Madrid for the UNWTO elections with my friends and family, to inform me unceremoniously that Seychelles had bowed to the demands of the African Union.
Africa cannot progress with such a dictatorial attitude, and the World Institutions cannot condone such draconian actions. I was humiliated at the peak of my tourism career and left Madrid empty-handed to return to Seychelles on 14th May with my loved ones.
It is now the first anniversary of this sad affair when the Seychelles Government carelessly dropped a Seychellois to throw their support behind the candidate endorsed by, the now deposed, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
JOON of Air France has landed in Seychelles
Early in the morning of Sunday 6th May, JOON of Air France made its first landing in the Seychelles. This is the latest airline to serve the destination of Seychelles which remains so dependent on tourism for the success of its economy. JOON’s timing is perfect as it will step in to fill the void left by Air Seychelles which has now discontinued its non-stop direct flights to Paris. Even though the flight landed in Seychelles on the 6th May, the official welcome will be held on the 15th May.
Seychelles Airlines is putting final touches
On its part, Seychelles Airlines of Capt Robert Marie and Philippe Boule are putting final touches to their planning and are hoping to take to the skies before the end of the year, providing direct non-stop links between Seychelles and different European Cities as well as Singapore and other points in Asia. Seychelles Airlines will be providing a needed opening for all the Air Seychelles crew who have been made redundant during the last couple of weeks.
Turkish Airline to link Comoros to Istanbul via Seychelles
It has been announced that Turkish Airline is starting flights to Comoros from June as an add-on from Seychelles. The announcement has been confirmed by Comoros Civil Aviation and published by the regional press.
New Book on Art in Seychelles
Martin Kennedy is the main person behind the project to publish Art in Seychelles. Kennedy is the Secretary of Arterial Network Seychelles. He has written critical narratives on art in Seychelles since his arrival from the UK in 1997. Prior to relocating to Seychelles, he was Chairperson of the London Association for Art and Design Education and art advisor to London education authorities and galleries, as well as visiting lecturer at a number of British Universities.
As Marcel Duchamp said:- “I do not believe in art. I believe in artists”. This book highlights the artists behind each painting, and is an exciting addition to the limited publications available in Seychelles in the field.
The Reunion Volcano again in full activity
The volcano of Reunion is again at work, attracting visitors from the region who have joined the Reunionais to admire this phenomenon. The Reunion volcano has erupted twice in just a month and the island’s press has been overtaken by the spectacle.
It is important to again today acknowledge all who are diligently re-posting the Saint Ange Tourism Report weekly. Our Report ranges far and wide, from Australia to the Americas, from the Indian Ocean Vanilla islands to Africa & Asian and Greater Europe, with your continued support, which is greatly appreciated. You are helping us to grow from strength to strength with each new Edition.
Enjoy the read,
Saint Ange Consultancy
Denis Private Island turns back the clock with Creole nights of centuries past
A new experiential evening on Denis Private Island aims to recreate Seychelles’ colonial past, replete with traditional food and dancing.
The construction of a new beachside pergola that’s creatively referred to as “The Boat Shed” – not to be mistaken for having any maritime use whatsoever – has furnished an “on-location” dining and recreational area for its guests on Friday evenings to enjoy a window into local culture.
It’s a change of pace that whisks guests away from the uniquely shaped concourse area that’s the centrepiece of so many aerial photos of Denis – and where most of the island’s highly regarded cuisine is served – and across the star-lit grass runway for a different kind of gastronomic feast underneath the pergola and on the beach.
Apart from classic Creole island fare such as grilled red snapper, octopus curry in coconut milk, suckling pig and local fruit chutneys, most of which comes from the island farm just steps away, the evening also features live entertainment and a bonfire on the beach, as was the custom of the descendants of African slaves that comprise much of Seychelles’ current population.
“The newly introduced Creole night has been a hit so far, worthy of several mentions on Trip Advisor already,” Denis Private Island PR, Branding and Communications Manager Nicole St Ange said. “The island itself, being so remote and without any kind of traditional human development, has allowed us to recreate a one-of-a-kind ambience right out of the archipelago’s history books.”
The culinary experiences on Denis Private Island are among the highlights of the hotel’s offerings, with its farm-to-table concept catering for all the kitchen’s poultry and pork, fresh milk and yoghurt, fruits and vegetables, in addition to freshly caught fish right off the island.
The new Creole nights on Fridays, however, appear to have added yet another feather to Denis’ epicurean cap.
Salwa Razzouk is Resort Manager at Raffles Seychelles
Edouard Grosmangin, General Manager at Raffles Seychelles moved this week to strengthen his Senior Management Team on the ground. Mr Grosmangin who was himself bought in but months ago to reposition the 5 Star property of Praslin in the drive by Raffles to make their Seychelles property the leading resort of the island. Salwa Razzouk has now moved in as Resort Manager of Raffles Seychelles. Salwa has international experience having come initially from Inter Continental Phoenicia Beirut – Lebanon where she was in charge of the IT support for the Finance department and was part of the Task Force in InterContinental Le Vendome in May 2005.
She is fluent in English, French and Arabic with also a good enough Portuguese language and worked in different parts of the world before being part of the opening of the Seychelles H-Hotel.
Her strength as a hands-on Senior Manager will help Raffles Seychelles in its drive to be the address of reference at Praslin.
The Saint Ange Tourism Report welcomes Salwa Razzouk to Praslin and wishes her and the Team of the Resort continued success.
Alain St.Ange meets Prefet and President of La Reunion
Alain St.Ange, the former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, resigned from his Ministerial position in December 2016 to run for the position of Secretary General of the UNWTO. However, his candidacy was abruptly pulled out of the race by the Seychelles Government only two days before the elections, apparently following demands made by the African Union. Following this sad let down by Seychelles in favour of the Zimbabwean candidate, St.Ange launched his own Tourism Consultancy and issues the weekly Saint Ange Tourism Report.
Last week, Alain St.Ange was in La Reunion on a private visit and took the opportunity to meet Mr Amaury de Saint-Quentin, Prefet de La Reunion and Mr Didier Robert, Regional President of the island. It was the opportunity at a lunch at the Prefecture for St.Ange to discuss tourism and regional cooperation with Prefet de Saint-Quentin who is also an islander from Guadeloupe. This was their first meeting.
Alain St.Ange was also invited for a dinner at the residence of President Didier Robert and Madame Corine Robert and there he discussed cooperation in the field of tourism and also reviewed the successes of the Vanilla Islands Organisation they had both founded. They discussed the proposed launch of Reunion Creole delicacies at selected restaurants in Seychelles in a bid to increase the export of products from the sister island. This discussion followed meetings held with Faouzia Vitri (the elected representative responsible for Regional Cooperation), Maryse Doki-Thonon & Emilie Lauret of La Maison de l’Export – La Reunion in the presence of Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the Vanilla Islands to firm up the different avenues of cooperation.
Alain St.Ange also met with Jean Claude Pech, the Seychelles Consul in La Reunion. The work of the Seychelles Consul in La Reunion was a topical part of the conversation during the meeting, with everyone present praising Seychelles for having such a dedicated personality as their representative. Also present was TV Journalist Pierre Gault and his wife Murielle.
Jean Claude Pech has notably been going out of his way to facilitate Seychellois arriving in La Reunion for much needed medical attention, and must be commended for his kindness.
Air France’s new sister airline ‘Joon’ has made its inaugural flight to Seychelles
The Airbus A340 landed at the International Airport at Pointe Larue in the early hours of Sunday, at 12.15 am, carrying 277 passengers.
Joon departed the island nation at 01.30am.
It was in September last year that Air France announced it will be operating scheduled flights to Seychelles from the Paris Charles Gaulle airport as from May 5, 2018.
The new airline, which is targeting the millennials, will operate thrice-weekly flights to Seychelles.
The flights will leave Paris on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. The returning flights will be leaving Seychelles the following day.
Turkish Airlines to launch Comoros via Seychelles from Istanbul from 18 June
After Mauritius and Madagascar with their all cargo flights, Turkish Airlines opens Moroni in the Comoros from 18 June. The Turkish Company obtained from the Comoros Civil Aviation the necessary authorisation to launch three weekly flights with an Airbus A330 until September.
Turkish Airlines announced flights from Paris, but to get to Moroni in Comoros the flights will go via Istanbul in Turkey and Mahe in the Seychelles. From September the Turkish Company will no longer land in Comoros but will be facilitating links from Nairobi and Dar-Es-Salam.
Comoros had been isolated from the rest of the world for a long time but is now already being served by eight air companies:- Air Austral, Ewa, Air Madagascar, Air Tanzania, Ethiopian Airlines, Fly SAX, Kenya Airways, Precision Air and Int’Air Iles based from Anjouan. South African Airways has also announced its intension to launch operations to Comoros but this is yet to start. Silence Radio through Corail Air of Erick Lazarus, the former President and Founder of Air Bourbon who wants to launch Inter Island and Regional Services from Moroni in Comoros with a Bombardier CRJ100 but he is said to be waiting for a long haul connection from Marseille France effecting 25 June with a Boeing 767 200ER.
Two other projects are currently in the final planning stage. Nzuanair owned by some business personalities from Anjouan, and Vigor belonging to a Hotel Group from Tanzania who purchased Hotel Cristal Itsandra. They are also planning to open two more hotels in Moroni and a Commercial Centre. They are also hoping to break into the world of Aviation. On its part AB Aviation is hoping to restart their link with Mayotte.
Source:- Alain Dupuis – Le JIR
Seychelles Airline working on final plans
Captain Robert Marie of Seychelles Airlines has confirmed that the new private sector airline is finalising plans to launch their services to Europe and Asia. Lawyer Philippe Boule is the man standing behind the airline that is set to show that they will succeed where the country’s National Airlines “Air Seychelles” has failed.
Capt Marie has been flying in and out of Seychelles in the last couple of weeks to finalise the lease of their aircraft, and he is also putting into place arrangements for the start of their operations.
Seychelles Airlines, a local private airline company, has said it is expected to start its operations before the end of 2018 with two Boeing 767 which caters for 213 passengers and will employ both Seychellois and foreigners.
“The other airlines are coming here from over there. We are leaving here to go over there. So what we need to do is find out how to fill up the plane when we reach that destination. This is the strategy we need to work on. The airline industry was easier before than now. It is a fact that it is more difficult now. But we have seen great improvement in that area and the business is moving in the right direction that we would have wished for,” said Captain Marie in a previous press interview a couple of months ago.
Captain Marie began his career in aviation with the national airline Air Seychelles as a pilot in 1997. He began flying the Twin Otter on domestic flights. After that he was promoted to pilot where he flew Boeing planes. During the restructuring exercise at Air Seychelles in 2012, Captain Marie was among other staff members who were made redundant. He then joined forces with Mr Boulle and Mr Afif where they started the move to enter the aviation business.
On the question of the name “Seychelles Airline” that was seen as too close to “Air Seychelles”, the Supreme Court of Seychelles ruled in their favour to maintain that name after Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCCA) announced they cannot use the name ‘Seychelles Airlines’ because it resembles too much the name of the national carrier Air Seychelles.
General Manager for AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort and Spa made the difference
AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa said when they announced that Stephane Vilar had been appointed as their new General Manager that it was their Team on the ground that will make the difference for them and for tourism in Seychelles. The statement followed the courtesy call by Mr Vilar on the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture where they discussed cooperation between the resort and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and also coordinated efforts with the Tourism Board in the marketing of Seychelles.
Today but a couple of years down the line and the Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa is enjoying a very high level of occupancy with bot FITs and the Mice Market. The resort has also been duly recognised by the World Travel Awards.
Stephane Vilar says that the main reason for his success is the Human Resource Team he has developed at the Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa.
Reunion’s Volcano providing a spectacle for all to see
The “Piton de Fournaise” is again erupting in Reunion Island for the second time in less than a month. This attraction is a plus for the Indian Ocean Region and the Vanilla Islands as a whole. The beautiful volcano has had the regional press reporting daily on its impressing lava flows and tourists are using all available means to get to viewing points in order to see for themselves the red hot lava flowing from the volcano.
With newspaper headlines “Always Magical” as the lava from the “Piton de Fournaise” volcano now reaching the bottom of the ravine. The volcanic eruption was continuing daily with intensity. “It could stop tonight, in three months or continue for much longer” writes Le JIR of La Reunion.
The lave is considered to be flowing from about 2 to 6 cubic meter per second according to Le JIR.