Donald Payen, currently executive vice president of customer experience ground and in-flight services with Air Mauritius, has been awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite.
This distinction, the second highest French national order after the Legion of Honour, was awarded by the French ambassador to Mauritius, Gilles Huberson, earlier.
The presentation was made during a ceremony at Residence de France in Floreal, Mauritius.
The insignia was presented in front of the president of the Republic of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim.
Also in attendance for the ceremony were deputy prime minister Ivan Collendavelloo, president of the national assembly, Maya Hanoomanjee, the leader of the opposition, Xavier Luc-Duval, and president of the Réunion Region, Didier Robert.
In his remarks, Huberson stressed: “Three of the many reason to justify this distinction are his status as an exemplary citizen and professional, his role as a bridge between France and Mauritius, and his commitment to the humanist values of the order.”
Payen is one of the most respected Mauritian professionals in the tourism industry.
Under this watch, national carrier Air Mauritius took the title of Indian Ocean’s Leading Airport Lounge at the World Travel Awards last year, while also being recognised as the Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline for ten consecutive years from 2005.