AIR MAURITIUS LOSS MAKING SPELL MAY BE ENDING
(Posted 01st August 2013)
The reported losses of 33.87 million Euros for the last financial year (2012) of Air Mauritius have now been put in some perspective as the airline recently reported an increase in revenues by 33.9 million Euros, giving hope that the tide has finally turned and the often harsh cost cutting and route rationalization measures finally can generate the income needed to eventually turn the bottom colour on the balance sheet from red to black again.
CEO Andre Viljoen, when presenting results, suggested that the airline was to return to full profitability by the 2015/16 financial year until which further consolidation and cost saving measures will be pursued. Starting in 2011 was a 7 year recovery plan put in place aimed to ensure the financial survival of Air Mauritius in the face of significant losses, though it has not been ruled out that the Mauritius government may eventually bring a strategic investor on board similar to what neighbours Air Seychelles have done. While this may or may not happen any time soon, a fleet renewal however will be undertaken in coming years to phase out fuel guzzling older aircraft and replace them with state of the are jets allowing for major savings in particular vis a vis fuel consumption and maintenance. No announcements are expected though until mid next year when the financial results for 2013/14 are available. Air Mauritius presently operates a mixed fleet of 12 aircraft comprising two A319, 2 A330-200, 6 A340-300 and 2 ATR 72-500 for inter island flights including to Rodrigues. It is in particular the older A340 aircraft which may be targeted for replacement with more economical twin engine jets.
Cutting the route network and re-assessing destinations with the potential to bring in more passengers and allow operations with a higher yield resulted in identifying routes which will be progressively enhanced with more flights, so as to tap into such markets with greater vigour and earlier this year did the airline name Nairobi and Johannesburg as being among those which can do better, alongside new routes to mainland China.
Watch this space for regular and breaking aviation news from Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands.