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AfricaMoney | October 17, 2017

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Air Mauritius and Emirates sign deeper and wider commercial agreement

Air Mauritius and Emirates sign deeper and wider commercial agreement

The launch of this bigger, wider aircraft allows Emirates to offer 1,800 seats daily in and out of Mauritius which translates into almost 650,000 seats every year between Dubai and the island economy.

In a significant milestone for both Air Mauritius and Emirates, a decade long commercial agreement was signed today, giving the two airlines wider access to each other’s networks, even as Emirates Airline kicked off its daily Airbus A380 service from Dubai to Mauritius.

Besides, the Memorandum of Understanding between Emirates Airlines and the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) was renewed, to promote inbound tourism into the island nation from key markets.

Andre Viljoen, CEO, Air Mauritius, signed the commercial agreement on behalf of the island economy’s national carrier while Emirate’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori was the signatory for the Dubai-based airline major at an event held this morning at the SSR International airport.

“We are building on what we have already established in the last year in the form of a codeshare agreement,” said Thierry, adding, “It is more than a memorandum, it is an agreement, and it is a serious decision for Emirates…we are very selective in making alliances.”

He mentioned that the agreement allows Air Mauritius to leverage on Emirates global network covering China, Egypt, Pakistan, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka, among others, and aids the island destination in its endeavours to develop a wider tourist base.

For Emirates, on the other hand, the agreement provides a golden opportunity to access surrounding islands such as Madagascar, Reunion, and other developed hospitality centers in the Indian Ocean tourism space, he noted.

On the topic of the newly launched A380, he noted that Mauritius is now the only island in the Indian Ocean to receive this aircraft daily.

The launch of this bigger, wider aircraft allows Emirates to offer 1,800 seats daily in and out of Mauritius which translates into almost 650,000 seats every year between Dubai and the island economy.

Coming to Air Mauritius, Andre dismissed the suggestion that the agreement with the ‘Goliath-like’ airlines major posed, in any way, a threat to the existence of the smaller, national carrier.

“For many years we have been revamping our business model and the agreement with Emirates is an important part of that strategy,” he noted, adding, “Air Mauritius has what it calls ‘mini hubs’ in Johannesburg, Paris, Kuala Lumpur, and now, in Dubai as well.”

Mauritius’ tourism minister, Michael Yeung Sik Yuen, also graced the occasion. He noted that the launch of Airbus 380 will allow Emirates to carry over 300 passengers extra daily.

He added that the deepened and strengthened relationship with the Dubai-based airlines major spelt closer ties between Mauritius and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Inbound tourists from the GCC nations almost doubled between 2012 and 2013, and stood at approximately 20,000 for the year till date, he noted.

Moreover, the minister mentioned that Mauritius intends to focus even more on GCC countries now, and, starting January 30, Emirates and MTPA will undertake a 10-day roadshow in Dubai to promote Mauritius as a preferred tourist destination.

Emirates currently has 42 A380s in its fleet, which is the world’s largest. Mauritius will be the 24th destination the airline operates the aircraft to from its hub in Dubai.

Emirates has been operating to Mauritius since 2002 with three flights per week and in December 2012 commenced a double daily service due to continued growing demand.

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