The entire travel industry is faced with enormous challenges, thanks to the combined effects of the global economic crisis, with Europe as epicentre, and soaring fuel prices.
Air Mauritius has been no exception to the unprecedented crisis the global aviation industry is currently facing, and amidst these turbulent times, the national carrier's bottom line has been adversely impacted. The airline has thus embarked on a seven-step plan to recovery and long-term sustainability. This in order to bring about short- to medium-term reclamation, through the launch of a new mission statement, new strategic role, and focused core objectives.
The first step of the new business model, network optimisation, has already been implemented for the current financial year (1 April 2012 - 31 March 2013). The overall effect is a 3% increase in capacity, with a rebalancing of growth on short and medium haul flights - mainly around the Indian Ocean rim, as well as emerging markets.Seamless connection beyond Mauritius
From 29 October 2012, Air Mauritius will operate ten weekly flights out of Johannesburg, and additional supplementary capacity during peak holiday season, while Cape Town flights' capacity will also be simultaneous boosted with the addition of wide-bodied aircraft, and three flights direct to Mauritius, return, per week. Furthermore, and also effective as of 29 October, Air Mauritius will offer seamless connection to all destinations beyond Mauritius. These include highly competitive rates offered via international routes inclusive of Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, London, Paris, India, China, Reunion, Kenya and Madagascar.
Further to the reconfiguration of the airline's current network, the following international loss making routes have been suspended: effective May 2012 - Milan (to be serviced on a daily basis via Paris) and Sydney / Melbourne (to be serviced via Perth); and effective end October 2012, Frankfurt, Geneva, Munich (to be serviced on a daily basis via Paris), Bangalore (to be serviced via Mumbai and Chennai) and Durban (to be serviced on a daily basis via Johannesburg).
The following destinations have been retained and will be reinforced: Paris, London, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Perth, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, Antananarivo, St Denis, St Pierre and Rodrigues.A more attractive offering
Says André Viljoen, Air Mauritius Acting CEO: "Our plan, which consists of recovery and game changer steps, is in motion. This year we will add over 70 000 seats, while rebalancing growth to the Indian rim countries and Asia. We are also providing a wider choice and offering flexibility to our customers. It is our belief that Air Mauritius now boasts a far more attractive service offering, in-line with the worldwide travel trend."
Steps two through to seven include re-invigorating the commercial aspects of the airline; relentless cost reduction and cash conservancy; monetising and selling of non-core assets; re-fleeting with new generation Airbus A350 or Boeing 787 aircraft; focus on service quality; and harnessing of human capital.
Concludes Carla da Silva, Air Mauritius regional manager Southern Africa and Latin America: "We are incredibly excited to launch additional capacity from Johannesburg, increase frequencies direct from Cape Town, as well as offer seamless connections for business travel, as per the brand's corporate value proposition, and beyond Mauritius travel strategy. Challenges provide opportunities, which we intend to seize, thereby opening a whole new world to our existing customer base, as well as new commercial and leisure consumers."