Dubai: Air Seychelles, the airline for which Etihad Airways paid $20 million (Dh73.56 million) last month for a 40 per cent stake, yesterday said it has appointed Cramer Ball, a former Etihad Airways employee, as its chief executive.
Ball, who was formerly the Abu Dhabi-based carrier's regional general manager for Asia-Pacific South and Australasia, assumes his new position under the management contract that Air Seychelles has with Etihad.
Prior to joining Etihad, Ball held senior management positions at Gulf Air, Qantas, Kendell Airlines and Ansett Australia/Air New Zealand.
The move comes as a part of the restructuring of Air Seychelles which will be undertaken with Etihad Airways, Etihad said in a statement.
It added that Shelley Cole, yet another former Etihad employee, has been seconded to Air Seychelles to take on the position of chief financial officer, effective immediately. Cole earlier served as Etihad's regional finance manager for Asia-Pacific. Seychelles Transport Minister Joel Morgan said in a statement that the country's President James Michel has welcomed the arrival of a strong management team from Etihad "to orient Air Seychelles on a robust and secure footing" in order to position it for future development.
"Air Seychelles will work closely with Etihad Airways to leverage synergies and create efficiencies that will reduce costs and maximise yields," Ball said in a statement.
Under the strategic partnership between the two carriers, Etihad said it will provide a shareholder's loan of $25 million to meet working capital requirements and support network development.
It also said that it will seek to increase the frequency of flights between Abu Dhabi and Mahe from four per week to daily, and to provide new services to the islands. It added that it will work with Air Seychelles to develop a renewed fleet and network growth plan for the carrier, and that the new partnership will further drive consolidation of key functions, resulting in significant cost savings.