PILOT EXODUS CONTINUES AS AIR MAURITIUS STRUGGLES TO RECRUIT AND RETAIN COCKPIT CREWS
(Posted 31st October 2017)
Comments attributed to the CEO of Air Mauritius last week that the Indian Ocean Commission’s Vanilla Islands airline alliance needs ‘leadership‘ was among individuals close to the other three members Air Austral, Air Madagascar and Air Seychelles perceived as laying the claim to lead the platform.
Suggestions were in fact made to this correspondent that the Air Mauritius CEO – an apparent revolving door job in recent years – needs to mind his own shop first after further news emerged that at least 11 senior pilots had handed their resignation and were leaving for greener pastures.
This compelled the airline to try and douse the flames with a statement seen which reads as follows:
‘All employees of Air Mauritius are issued with individual contracts of employment which are in good legal order. These contracts, which may be for a determinate or indeterminate period, establish the rights and duties of both the employer and the employee. They also contain clauses that provide for their termination either by the employer or the employee. It is a fact that certain pilots have left or are leaving the company. It is equally true that the process of recruiting pilots, including young Mauritians, has been ongoing throughout the year. This year we have recruited 31 pilots whilst 11 have left or are in the process of leaving the company for a variety of reasons. Any untoward interpretation or extrapolation about these departures can lead to speculative and erroneous conclusions. Our pilots are full-fledged professionals who continue to operate our flights with the same sense of professionalism that is recognised by one and all‘.
Erroneous conclusions indeed when African airlines have been targeted by fast expanding carriers elsewhere who are aggressively recruiting pilots and engineering staff by offering better terms of employment and Air Mauritius appears to be as much a target as are other airlines from the African mainland.
As to the Vanilla Islands airlines, perhaps the Air Mauritius CEO could take a leaf from how the Vanilla Islands tourism marketing organization was formed and how it has been operated in recent years and consider that as a way forward instead of jockeying for a position of leadership among his peers.