Tuesday, May 7, 2013

■ MAURITIUS: Air Mauritius not ready to join a planned regional carrier: Dass

Air MauritiusThe chairman of the board at Air Mauritius (MK), Thomas Dass, has dismissed tentative plans to set up a regional Indian Ocean-based regional carrier, on the grounds that the Mauritian airline is still in too fragile a financial state to be part of any such initiative.

Air Mauritius A330-200
Air Mauritius A330
Speaking in Port Louis during a recently ended conference on "Connectivity in Indianocéanie" organized by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), Mr Dass said MK is going through difficult times, and its sole objective is to find stability, if not profitability,  in order for the company to regain its position as a key trader in the region." 

While he did not entirely dismiss the notion of setting up a regional carrier as proposed by the IOC, Mr Dass added that now was not the time.
"We need to find sustainable solutions. We could sell the assets of the company and reduce overheads to a minimum and make money. But this is not the solution," he said. Dass Thomas, at this stage, said "no, MK is not ready for regionalization because we cannot let the company be destroyed in the time taken to create a regional company."
Source [mega.mu

All the Indianocéanie-based carriers are facing difficult times with Air Austral (UU), Air Madagascar(MD) and Air Mauritius are all facing financial difficulties. The exception, at present time, is Air Seychelles (HM), who one year on from their tie up with Etihad (EY) have announced their first profit of USD1million.

For its part, Air Mauritius (MK), is beginning to reap the rewards of its envisioned 7 Step Recovery Plan having posted a USD9.6million (EUR6.4million) profit for Q3 (October-December) of its 2012/2013 Financial Year. However, overall results combined for Q1, Q2, Q3 show the carrier still made a substantive pre-tax loss of USD3.33million (EUR2.5 million).

Speaking during the conference, the Secretary General of the IOC, Jean-Claude de l'Estrac, said the global economic crisis, soaring oil prices in addition to the islands remoteness from international markets, including Europe, compounded by the narrowness of their domestic markets, has "handicapped both the regional and international competitiveness of our carriers. "