AIR MAURITIUS UP DIRE STRAITS AS BAILOUT SEEMS INCREASINGLY UNLIKELY
(Posted 14th June 2020)
Faced with losses amounting to nearly 250 million US Dollars and having run out of cash – following the prolonged operations halt due to #COVID19 – is Air Mauritius desperately seeking a government fund injection to meet upcoming lease expenses, overheads and in particular salaries for staff.
The airline, as reported here at the time, entered voluntary administration back in April to stave off a financial collapse, but time appears to be running out for the administrators in the absence of a major cash injection from government.
To cut cost had Air Mauritius subleased two Airbus A350 aircraft to South African Airways but that airline too is staring into the financial abyss, unless the South African government comes up with a billion US Dollar bailout package, as asked for by the administrators in Johannesburg, after the airline had entered the Business Rescue status several months ago.
Long serving staff have already been asked to agree to a ‘voluntary’ retirement from the airline not later than the beginning of July while half of the 3.000 strong staff are expected to be laid off.
Africa’s airlines have been at the losing end of the scale in international aviation and carriers like South African Airways, Air Mauritius, Egypt Air, Tunis Air, Royal Air Maroc and Kenya Airways have been writing deep red figures in past years. While some showed signs of recovery ahead of the global #COVID19 pandemic has the raging disease wiped out any cash reserves they still had and threatens their survival.
Only Ethiopian Airlines seems to be holding it together, not at this stage having asked for any bailout and in fact being seen by the Ethiopian government as one of the economic locomotives to pull Ethiopia out of recession.