Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Chamber of Commerce launches Praslin Subcommittee

12 April 2014

The Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has launched a subcommittee to represent the specific needs of the Praslin business community.
The five-member board, which is comprised of Christopher Gill, William Rose, Miette Godley, Adrian Uzice and Nigel Hoareau, aims to improve the business environment and lend assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating on the inner island.
“Despite Praslin being a key component of the national economy, businesses there tend to feel that their needs are either overlooked or come secondary to those on Mahé,” says Marco Francis, the Chairman of SCCI.

In order to overcome those challenges and encourage entrepreneurism on Praslin, the Chamber firmly believes that the nation needs more transparent and equitable policies across the islands.
Launching the subcommittee on Friday, Mr Francis urged Praslinois to consider applying for membership to the Chamber and supporting its drive to improve the ease of doing business in Seychelles.
“It is only by being united as a community that we can move the agenda of the business community forward and promote an equal playing field for the betterment of the economy,” says Mr Francis.
The main objective of the SCCI is to remove barriers affecting businesses in Seychelles, especially for smaller-sized enterprises whose needs are often not well communicated to higher levels.

Seychelles Value Added Tax Is Ripping Off Visitors and Residents Alike !

It is approaching Two (2) years now, that VAT (Value Added Tax) is in force in the tiny authoritarian republic in the Indian Ocean Seychelles. Each year, the government collects more and more revenue, bursting a budget ceiling last year of over Five (5) Billion Seychelles Rupees.
Late last year, the People’s Communist National Assembly (One party State apparatus still in place in practice) passed without opposition a budget and a huge salary emoluments bill that will double salaries of politicians-active and non active, in the month of June 2014 when the Seychelles Communist Party PL will celebrate 50 years of existence, though it has changed its name numerous times, to keep ahead of the murdered, the disappeared under the current logo at the time.

The VAT ATTACK On Business and Citizen Alike
Most Communist countries insure the workers own all systems of production through STATE OWNERSHIP of all the means, apparatus of economic production. During the One Party state this traditional style of Communism was implemented, and it lived a short life, as corruption crippled the ideology.
Today, under the PL, the Seychelles Communist Party has resorted to controlling and taking ownership of fruits of production through a excessive VAT system that breaks the norms of VAT and social decency, hence making Seychelles unattractive to shoppers, visitors, residents alike.
The VAT system in place places tax at a diabolical 15% on every single item purchased and every single service delivered. The Communist do not stop here, they tack on another 1.5% in CRT or Corporate Responsibility TAX on revenue, not profit of every single business.

What Effect on Business Visitors Residents?
Goods entering the country are taxed 15% on arrival. The value of the goods are calculated based on Cost Insurance Freight (CIF). Seychelles is 1,000 miles from anywhere. She is mostly 2,000 miles from anywhere. Just in this single administrative faux pas of dishonesty, the PL Communist raise the cost of all goods entering Seychelles by 30% across the board.
The just course of action that is intellectually honest is to apply VAT on a FOB basis : “Free on Board”, meaning, VAT will be applied only on the value of the goods, less the tax paid for it already in the originating country. VAT should not be applied in the case of island economies to shipping and air cargo freight. It is ridiculous and it is called: STEALING! PL Communist, you are stealing from us, and you are stealing from each and every single Visitor to Seychelles. It is your fault that Seychelles is expensive, no one else. It is a fault that can be easily be avoided.
When government taxes oppressively, they affect business cash flow, discourage investments, turn Seychelles into a red light “DO NOT INVEST IN ZONE”. This is what the PL Communist have done to Seychelles today with excessive, I would say oppressive taxing.

The Poor Visitors
Being in the Tourism Hotel Industry as a serious player, I cannot count the amount of times I have read emails from Visitors who say:
1.     we are a family of Four(4) we are travelling to Seychelles, but the tickets are expensive, the rooms are expensive, the food and drinks we understand, are expensive, we will look at another destination.
2.    Wow the islands are beautiful, but we looked around, everything is so expensive, the Air Seychelles ticket alone cost me euro 140.00. I could go on a 2,000 mile trip from Heathrow for that much. A Beer cost me 8.0 euro. A taxi cost me 40.00 euro for a 10 minute drive.
To the Poor Visitor, all I can say is blame PL Communist for these high costs for a holiday that force you either to cancel your trip, or in the alternative drink bottle water for 10 days.

The Poor Residents
While James Michel is writing book on book, as if he is some sort of Walt Whitman or David Longfellow or even Plato , the poor residents of Seychelles have to fork out 15% of all their salaries on every single item they purchase in a shop to feed their families. A person earning 5,600.00 will spend 840.00 on VAT.  An additional deduction of 3% on their salaries before they even touch it. All these deductions are fine in a rich country, where salaries afford luxuries. But in a country where salaries afford only Two weeks food supply, you are abusing your people, and beating them to a pulp. There is a big difference between touching Scr. 5,600.00 per month or Scr. 4,600.00 PL. What you are doing to Seychellois is a disgrace to the founding principle of SESEL POU SESELWA! You have turned it into “SESEL POU CRONY”.

SCCI and SHTA Need To Relook At VAT
The SCCI and SHTA need to make VAT a TOP PRIORITY on the agenda to deal with government and resolve this great abuse of a tax system.
Room taxes are not VAT. They cannot be 15%. They must be acceptable to the visitor and that usually means 4%-7%. Above all, room taxes cannot have the effect of pricing Seychelles out of the market with its regional and international competitors. Each year you lose a Visitor to another destination, you lose that Visitor’s revenue for that year forever, DUMBO.
VAT on goods in the store for consumption cannot be at 15% if you expect your population to act responsibly, respect the Police, respect the structures of State. They will not. What you take from them unfairly, they will retake from you by Ten (10) times.
 VAT on goods in Seychelles need not exceed 10% and it need not be applied to freight. That is called stealing.

Government must learn to live within means that are reasonable. Cut the fat cat salaries, cut the fancy cars and flights to everywhere in the World but going no where, accomplishing nothing for Seychelles at the end of the day.  Get your feet on the ground PL, get off your false sense that you are the World. You are not. Your World is closing in on you fast.
The internet is catching up to you PL. Your scam on VAT which is an act of THEFT is exposed. By tomorrow morning, the World will know. By Saturday, do something about it. That is how the World works now a days, SFP will make sure of that.
Seselwa Unite For Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Air Seychelles Domestic Raping Paradise!

Recently, Minister Joel Morgan went on SBC to give accolades to the Air Seychelles- Etihad management, for registering a 117% increase in profits, jumping from $1 Million in 2012, to $3 Million plus in 2013. An incredible feat, and believable to me, given that Air Seychelles in that time, flew directly mostly to Abu Dhabi then hooked a Hong Kong leg Three (3) times a week to Abu Dhabi, mostly, for air access for Etihad.
The real story is on the ground right here in Seychelles.
While Air Seychelles did 117% overall in profit, the Domestic segment which plies Mahe –Praslin petered about with only a 9% increase in passenger load, from the past year, mostly Etihad inbound clients. This number is particularly alarming when you consider that Minister St. Ange is claiming a year on year increase in Arrivals by 12%.  What this means, is that Arrivals, are avoiding Air Seychelles Domestic. Why would they be doing that, Papa-Wappa?

Unpredictable Ticket Pricing
Most of the time, when you book a Air Seychelles Domestic ticket, they charge you between Scr. 1,000- 2200.00 round trip with odd hours of return. A Couple travelling on Air Seychelles Domestic Mahe- Praslin is likely to get stuck with a 4,000.00 rupee bill, for a 15 minute island hopper using kerosene fuel. The pricing scheme is simply mad. It has had the effect of allowing market space for Cat Cocos to increase its fairs for economy to near Scr. 300.00.
The impact on the economy has not gone un noticed. You do not need a scientist to figure it all out. 1. Less travelers on Air Seychelles means less activity for the airport staff on Praslin, a new airport, with staff getting bored to death and resigning to work in hotels;2. Taxi Drivers have been idle since the new fare increases took place, their business has been cut by at least 50%; hotels suffer;trade between Mahe and Praslin suffers. 
While Air Seychelles is celebrating 117% profit, Mr. Morgan, your strategy has turned Praslin into a back water, with lots of nature, but no economic activity. You need to fix this problem or President James Michel, needs to make you an Ambassador on Pirates Rights.
Here is a quoted round trip on Air Seychelles Domestic per person with 10 kg. A couple going to Mahe can buy a ticket to Mauritius at this price.

Baggage Allowance Skinning
On baggage allowance Etihad Air Seychelles has not been very kind. They increase Arrival excess to Euro 6.00 per kilo for a 15 minute hopper, charging mostl Emirates passengers with the excess. Allowable  kilos is 10 per passenger. But on an inbound international flight connecting to Air Seychelles Domestic, it is at the very least, 23 kilos. Air Seychelles Domestic was making Arrivals pay the difference on each flight, tacking an additional euro 60.00 to each passenger onward to Praslin.
Excess baggage for locals is not any prettier. It has gone from 10.0 rupees per kilo to 50.00 per kilo. Minister Morgan, why don’t you just drop an A- Bomb on Praslin, and finish her off?

Cancel Excursions For Day Trips
In the past Air Seychelles had a reasonable excursion for day trippers who need to  see a doctor on Mahe, or do business in a government office, or shop a bit fr things they cannot find on Praslin. They would come down for the day, do their meetings, conduct their business, and go back to Praslin. In that process, they use to rent a car, or hire a taxi to get about. For Scr. 525.00 you could take a 9.00 am flight and be back in Praslin 5.45 pm. Now this is impossible. It cost no less then Scr. 1600.00 for the same flight unless of course, you are politically connected and can get a cheaper flight.
No economy can work with such malfunctioning policies. How does Air Seychelles register 117% profit increase unless it is really just working for Etihad air access?
Seselwa Unite For Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!

In comparison to a return flight to Alicante, Spain. A round trip of 2092 miles, duration of 5hrs flight time.

Monday, 14 April 2014

'Reclaiming Power'

Rough Riding Domestic Travelers For a Fat Profit

Air Seychelles has registered a net profit of US$3 million for 2013, exceeding by 171per cent its profit of US$1.1 million reported in 2012.Revenue increased by 107 per cent to US$88.7 million (2012: US$42.8 million).
The airline’s passenger numbers on its international network increased 100per cent to 195,857 (2012:97,576), while traffic on domestic services in 2013 increased nine per cent to 156,617 passengers.
Joël Morgan, Seychelles Minister for Home Affairs and Transport and Air Seychelles Board Chairman, said the 2013 results were a testament to the on-going success of the airline’s turnaround strategy and business plan.
“To record a second successive year of profitability after the immense challenges of the past is an achievement of which we are all very proud.  Our 2013 figures are a clear indication that we now have the right business model.
“In just two years, we have rebuilt our national carrier, strengthened our partnership with Etihad Airways, and beyond delivering good results for the airline, we have helped grow Seychelles tourism in the process – one of our core objectives.Today Air Seychelles is a great symbol of our nation wherever our brightly-coloured aircraft are flown.”
Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, Manoj Papa, said: “These results are another step forward in our journey as a commercially successful business and come against a backdrop of impressive development in both our domestic and international operations.
“Our business is now in good shape for the future, which includes growing our operations, launching new routes, taking delivery of new aircraft, expanding airline partnerships, hiring more Seychellois, and bringing more travellers to the Seychelles.
“We have established a solid basis for continued growth which reinforces the future of Air Seychelles and its vital contribution to the Seychelles economy.”
The impressive 2013 passenger traffic growth was aided by Air Seychelles’ acquisition of a second Airbus A330-200 aircraft in March.  The same month the island carrier launched three weekly flights to Hong Kong, and increased frequencies to Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg and Mauritius, bringing its total international weekly services to 16, up 100 per cent.
Johannesburg and Mauritius enjoyed an additional return service per week, connecting each destination three times a week respectively with the Seychelles.  The airline’s Abu Dhabi services also increased from four to seven return flights per week.
Abu Dhabi was Air Seychelles’ busiest international route, with a total of 90,746 passengers carried between the archipelago and capital of the United Arab Emirates, a year-on-year increase of 178 per cent.
Elsewhere, Air Seychelles saw record cargo volumes in 2013 thanks strong demand to and from France, Italy, Hong Kong and South Africa.
Air Seychelles signed four new codeshare partnerships in 2013, entering agreements with air berlin, Czech Airlines, South African Airways, and Cathay Pacific Airways.  These codeshare agreements increased Air Seychelles’ virtual network from 19 to 34 destinations.
In October, Air Seychelles announced a multi-million dollar agreement for the purchase of three new Viking Air DHC6Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft, its largest ever domestic fleet order signalling the carrier’s long-term commitment to its domestic operations.  Two of these aircraft are due to arrive in mid-2014, one year ahead of schedule.
Also in October, and coinciding with its 35th anniversary, the airline launched Air Seychelles VIP, a dedicated ground handling service and luxurious airport facility targeted at premium guests and the private air charter market.  The operation was co-established with Royal Jet.
Air Seychelles capped a remarkable year of achievements by being awarded a four-star rating by Skytrax, one of 35 global carriers to hold this accolade.
Morgan said:  “We have come a long way in two years and 2013 has been exceptional.  To achieve a second year of profitability and simultaneously be ranked among the very best airlines in the world is an amazing achievement of which the company and its staff should be very proud.”

Skinning Domestic Travelers For A Profit

Air Seychelles’ net profit in 2013 stood at USD three million, exceeding that of the previous year by 171 per cent. Revenue increased on year by 107 per cent to USD 88.7 million. The airline’s passenger numbers on its international network increased 100 per cent to 195,857 in 2013, while traffic on domestic services increased nine per cent to 156,617 passengers last year, as per a release.

Joël Morgan, Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Seychelles and Board Chairman, Air Seychelles, said the 2013 results were a testament to the ongoing success of the airline’s turnaround strategy and business plan.

“To record a second successive year of profitability after the immense challenges of the past is an achievement of which we are all very proud. Our 2013 figures are a clear indication that we now have the right business model,” Morgan said.

Manoj Papa, CEO, Air Seychelles, said, “These results are another step forward in our journey as a commercially successful business and come against a backdrop of impressive development in both our domestic and international operations. We have established a solid basis for continued growth which reinforces the future of Air Seychelles and its vital contribution to the Seychelles economy.”

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Violating Principles of Fair Competition

Apr 09, 2014
A senior management team from Germany’s Condor, a leading leisure airline, was in the Seychelles capital of Victoria last weekend to discuss future cooperation between them and the archipelago’s tourism industry.
Condor, as have other airlines flying to Mahe done before, followed an invitation by the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan to discuss airlines’ challenges and the expectations they have, and following meetings at the ITB 2014 last month in Berlin between airline executives and the Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St. Ange and his key team members, this latest exchange of views in the Seychelles was seen as hugely important to map out future cooperation.
Also in attendance at the Victoria meeting, besides ministry representatives, were key personnel of the Seychelles Tourism Board, the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, from Air Seychelles – which provides ground handling at the international airport to all airlines flying to Mahe – and from the Seychelles Petroleum Company which supplies the jet fuel at the airport.
Condor presently flies once a week from Germany’s largest airport Frankfurt to the Seychelles and, considering the number of German tourists visiting the archipelago, the authorities in Victoria have expressed their desire to see Condor add a second flight each week.
Condor competes on the German market with Air Berlin, which operates to Mahe under a code share arrangement with both Air Seychelles and partner Etihad and offers daily connections from across Germany via Abu Dhabi.