Air Mauritius looks high and low for commercial partnerships
Air Mauritius has been implementing stringent cost cutting measures, including yielding routes to other airlines for even core European markets that form the main base of tourists to the island nation. (Image: www.globalvillagedirectory.info)
Mauritius’ national carrier appears to be searching desperately for a lifeline. Sources indicate that the airline may have put its search for a strategic investor aside and may be eying commercial agreements instead.
Reportedly, the airline’s top management was in Dubai last week to reach an agreement with Emirates. The Dubai-based airline has two daily flights to the island nation using B777 aircraft. With the hospitality and tourism industry clamoring for greater capacity allocation for Mauritius tourists, one of the two flights is set to be upgraded to an Airbus A380 to increase seats for those bound to the sun-and-sand destination.
Over the past years, Air Mauritius has been implementing stringent cost cutting measures, including yielding routes to other airlines for even core European markets that form the main base of tourists to the island nation. Emirates has been one of the main beneficiaries of the national carrier’s cost cutting moves, offering more and more flight connections to visitors to the island nation via its hub in Dubai.
Further, sources in Port Louis indicated that additional consolidation on some routes may be in the offing for Air Mauritius to take advantage of synergies with commercial partner airlines and also save on costs in the process.
Besides, a badly needed shot in the arm for Air Mauritius in the form of capital infusion from shareholders, is increasingly unlikely. This puts in jeopardy the airline’s plans to modernize their fleet, currently comprising 6 Airbus A340 in place of the more fuel efficient A330’s, or with a mix of A350 and B787 aircraft. Switching to the latest flight models is essential for cost cutting measures, affording fuel savings of over 20 percent compared to the current aircraft.
In the meantime, the course is anything but smooth for the struggling airline. Recent reports suggest that the airline may have to sell some assets to be able to finance a fleet overhaul. Non-core assets have been identified for the asset sale with their hotel in Rodrigues, Cotton Bay, having been named among other properties which could be put up for sale.
Source: eTN (Global Travel Industry News)