AIR MAURITIUS SET TO ADD FREQUENCIES TO MUMBAI
It was learned late yesterday that Air Mauritius will offer additional flights between the island and Mumbai / India from April this year, bringing the total number of flights to four per week. Increased investment and trade between India and Mauritius but also the appeal of the island as a holiday destination are the main factors seen in taking this decision. Aviation analysts also point to the fact of increased frequencies by Emirates to Mauritius, offering daily convenient flights from all their Indian gateways via Dubai and that Air Mauritius really had no choice but to either increase their presence with nonstop flights between Mumbai and the island or else leave the market altogether. The four flights, a source from Port Louis said, were a step in the right direction but ultimately our airline has to fly daily nonstop or Emirates, with 12 flights a week from Dubai and multiple destinations in India, will simply sweep our national carrier aside.
Lessons learned from neighbouring Vanilla Island Seychelles perhaps where flights from Frankfurt had to be dropped when Emirates started to increase frequencies in earnest, eventually followed by all the airlines mainstream European ports of call like London, Paris, Milan and Rome, unable to compete with the frequencies, the extensive network from other airports in these countries and ultimately on fares.
Air Seychelles has according to news reports now seen Etihad of Abu Dhabi invest and take over 40 percent of the shares, perhaps the writing on the wall for Air Mauritius too, if cooperation partners are not found to work with and add strategic, financial and operational strength through synergy, cost cutting and resource sharing, before the onslaught by the mega carriers becomes too much to defend against. Watch this space for regular updates from the Indian Ocean islands aviation market.