The Seychelles government has assured that it will support the national airline Air Seychelles (HM, MahÃ©) which is the subject of a liquidation hearing on September 6 on 71.5 million dollars of debt.
Designated Minister and Fisheries Minister Jean-FranÃ§ois Ferrari will head a committee to meet with creditors, officials told the Seychelles News Agency after a high-level meeting on the issue on August 27 between President Wavel Ramkalawa, Minister of Transport Anthony Derjacques, Minister of Finance Naadir Hassan and the Board of Directors of Air Seychelles.
They were galvanized by a liquidation petition filed against the airline in the Seychelles Supreme Court on August 19 by APEX Corporate Trustees (UK) on behalf of the bondholders of EA Partners II, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) based in the Netherlands belonging to the Etihad Aviation group, a former 40% shareholder of the airline. Creditors said they had made it clear since July 2020 that they were prepared to achieve a “fair and equitable resolution of the airline’s debt problems”, but that there had been no substantial commitments, nor any sense of urgency, on the airline’s situation from its board of directors or the government, its sole shareholder. A statutory claim regarding debts owed to EA Partners bondholders was served on the airline on April 1, 2021.
The bondholders’ committee took note of the president’s recent public commitment to save Air Seychelles, saying he was ready to work with the government provided that the rights of creditors and their position in the capital structure were respected, and that the government is committed to a fair and equitable settlement with EA Partners bondholders. Legal proceedings rushed after the bondholders demanded full settlement of the $ 71.5 million claim, only for the government to make a counter-offer with a maximum of $ 20 million.
After the preparatory meeting of the government, Derjacques said: “We hope that we can bring a positive result and that we can move forward with the airline”. He stressed the importance of Air Seychelles continuing to be a commercially viable company in order to preserve jobs. He stressed that the airline would continue to operate despite the legal challenge.
Ramkalawan said the meeting was organized to ensure local stakeholders are on the same page before the company appears before the chief justice of the Indian Ocean archipelago next week. . In the event that the court rules in favor of the bondholders and a liquidation order is issued, Air Seychelles’ fleet would be in jeopardy. However, according to the advanced ch-aviation fleets module, while its five DHC-6-400s are all owned, its two A320-200Ns are leased to Air Lease Corporation and CDB Aviation.
The president of the board of directors, VÃ©ronique Laporte, thanked the management and the staff âfor their understanding and their commitment in these uncertain times. we continue to work on our restructuring plans to make Air Seychelles sustainable, âshe added.