Thursday, November 8, 2012

■ MAURITIUS: Situation improving at Air Mauritius despite Q2 $11million loss.

Air MauritiusMauritian carrier Air Mauritius (MK) has posted a pretax loss of USD11.4million (EUR8.9 million) for H1 (Q2) of its 2012/2013 Financial Year. 

"The number of passengers rose 0.3 percent to 610,526 during the period, while fuel costs increased by 1.3 percent, or 1.2 million euros, the airline said on Thursday."

MK blamed "high fuel prices, an unfavorable Euro/US dollar exchange rate and the ongoing global economic crisis with Europe as the epicentre" as the causes for the loss. However, in comparison to the same period last year, this year's loss (EUR19.2million) is an improvement of EUR10.3million showing that the carrier's 7-Step recovery plan, implemented in April and based on attracting traffic from emerging markets, has started to pay off.

The seven steps are split into two phases - Recovery steps and Game Changers. The recovery steps revolve around Steps 1 - 4 with the Game Changers involving Steps 5 to 7.:
  1. Network concentration and optimization, 
  2. Improvements in the commercial and revenue management functions,
  3. Relentless cash conservation and cost reduction program,
  4. Monetizing of non-core assets,
  5. New generation aircraft (more fuel efficient), 
  6. A customer service improvement project,
  7. Focus on human capital.

Air Mauritius CEO, Andre Viljoen, in a fairly vague and obfuscated statement, added that:
"Measures to concentrate the network and rebalance growth to emerging markets are shaping up and have compensated for the decline in traffic from Europe. The semester ending September 2012 saw a slight growth of 0.3% in the number of passengers carried. Revenue indicators are improving. Air Mauritius resisted a highly unfavourable exchange rate that has affected the results due to the continuing depreciation of the Euro against mainly the US Dollar and the Mauritian Rupee since the corresponding semester of last year."