Air Seychelles has confirmed the appointment of Manoj Papa as its new chief executive, succeeding Cramer Ball, who has tendered his resignation.
Papa joins from South African Airways, where he held the position of acting general manager, commercial, overseeing the entire commercial portfolio for the airline.
As part of this, he was also instrumental in developing the Long Term Turnaround Strategy for SAA.
Manoj Papa started his career with South African Airways, working across different functions including finance, and varied commercial functions in the airline including sales and distribution, sales strategy, the frequent flier program and e-commerce, as well as a period as SAA regional general manager for Asia and Australasia.
He joined Etihad Airways in 2007 later serving as vice president corporate strategy until he returned to South African Airways in 2012.
Joel Morgan, Seychelles minister for home affairs and transport and chairman of Air Seychelles, welcomed the appointment of Papa to run the national airline.
He said: “Manoj Papa is an experienced airline professional and strategist with the credentials to lead Air Seychelles in the next phase of its development.
“With our new routes, new aircraft on order and new service offer now across the network, we are in a stronger position than we have ever been.
“I put on record our grateful thanks to Cramer Ball, who has been instrumental in revitalising our national carrier.
“Cramer was seconded to Air Seychelles in January 2012 as part of a partnership in which Etihad Airways acquired 40 per cent of our airline and secured a five year management contract.
“He took us into profitability in his first year of leadership and has rebuilt the foundations of this proud airline.”
James Hogan, president and chief executive of Etihad Airways, also welcomed Papa’s appointment.
He said: “During his five years with Etihad Airways, Manoj played an important role in developing and implementing our long-term growth strategy and I am delighted to welcome him back into the wider Etihad Airways family.
“The insight which Manoj has into our business and strategic model will be crucial in ensuring the continuity of our commitment to the ongoing success and growth at Air Seychelles.”
Ball was appointed as chief executive of Air Seychelles in January 2012.
In his two-year tenure he successfully helped restructure and re-engineer the business with a view to achieving commercial sustainability.
The turnaround program saw the introduction of a new network plan, new aircraft, new product and service initiatives, and new staff training and development opportunities.
In February 2013, the airline was able to report a net profit of US$1 million, a remarkable turnaround after three consecutive years of losses.
The year culminated in the airline receiving the prestigious four-star rating from Skytrax.
Ball will stay on to ensure a seamless transition until Papa officially assumes the position of chief executive on March 1st 2014.