AIR MAURITIUS FINANCIAL OUTLOOK WORSENS
Alarm bells are ringing at the Air Mauritius head quarters in Port Louis when the latest losses became public knowledge yesterday, showing a 28 million US Dollars loss for the three quarters of their business year by end December 2011. It is understood from a regular source from Mauritius that one of the airlines long haul planes, an Airbus A340, is to be withdrawn from service with immediate effect and to be sold, a hard proposition though at this time when the worlds economy is again shaken by the Eurozone crisis and a mixed bag of economic performance data from leading economies as well as a less than enthusiastic outlook for the rest of 2012.
They are blaming it on the stronger Rupee and higher fuel cost. But fact is that the writing is on the wall for Air Mauritius just like it was for Air Seychelles. Our government has to decide which way to go with the airline. Stand alone it will without a shred of doubt in my mind fail. We should learn from Air Seychelles fate. In La Reunion Air Austral too is struggling with financial issues. The three governments should have sat down long ago to discuss how our airlines can cooperate. Now Air Seychelles has Etihad as a partner and they have deep pockets to revive that airline and make it work. I think time is now to seek a serious partnership and then restructure Air Mauritius to concentrate on core routes which perform well and otherwise seek code shares from which it can also profit. But at this rate our airline will run out of money because our government, which is the biggest shareholder in the airline, does not have spare cash said the source in an overnight message.
Other sources also doubted assertions by Air Mauritius top management that their plans for the airline would return the carrier to profitability by 2013. The shares of the airline are reportedly now down by nearly 20 percent over the past weeks, as the financial situation continued to worsen and shareholders dumped stock to shift investments in more profitable enterprises. Watch this space for regular and breaking news updates from the aviation sector in Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands.