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Air Mauritius – the end of the story?!

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Air Mauritius – the end of the story?!

Old 24th May 2010, 13:12
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dodoland
Age: 57
Posts: 69
Air Mauritius – the end of the story?!

I am starting this thread because I just read the latest issue of “Air Letter” (the Air Mauritius newsletter).
I do not share at all the optimism of the MD.
Where I work I only see savings on paper, but when I put the whole picture together, the future of Air Mauritius does not look that bright.
I will start only a few years back:
In 2002 the Mauritius Government (the main shareholder of MK) shot themselves in the foot by signing the open skies agreement with UAE. Within six months MK stopped operating to DXB. These days Emirates operates up to 10 flights a week to Mauritius, a few are code-share.
In 2006 MK renewed their embrace with AF and actually jumped in bed, but landed, I think under it. By that time in preparation for the renewal, MK has closed Vienna, Munich, Brussels, and Rome. Frankfurt was reduced to a single flight a week. As if the German tourist market is not the biggest one in Europe. And the Germans were only recently (2008) surpassed by the Chinese as the most travelling people in the World. And of course MK is doing the most hated thing for a premium pax – the GVA-FRA and GVA-MUC round-robins. Which have brought more grief than money.
Even worse. MK let AF become the primary code-share partner and feeder to our newly established hub of Paris! We traded main EU destinations for a filthy and crowded airport (one of the most disliked in Europe). I do not know where things would have been today if AF did not bow a bit and move MK to terminal “F” in 2008. But as MK’s 3-class layout at the time was not to the liking of AF, MK embarked on a costly cabin layout and image change to what? – to become the Preferred Leisure Airline of Mauritius. Actually MK relinquished the premium market niche to AF/BA/EK to compete with the charter likes of CorsairFly, Eurofly, Condor etc. In a cutthroat business environment. This reminds me of a famous phrase from a Brando movie – “Do you know why you woke up? Because I just cut your throat”.
The talk of opening the Chinese and Central/East European markets remained only that – just talk. When bold decisions were needed to compensate for the reduction in loads from Paris/London, there was no one to take them. We just reduced capacity (frequencies).
In October 2009 Air Austral ordered an A389 (2013 delivery) and took an option on a second one. High density configuration 840 seats. Their MD said in an interview with Flight Global, that UU will primarily use the A389s on their Paris route. Any bells ringing? MK also easily let Air Austral take away MK’s SYD/MEL pax with a better and more frequent B777 schedule. Management didn’t even comment. Or rather that UU’s is a wrong development model. That has yet to be seen.
Meanwhile AF has just introduced their “Comfort economy” product with brand new seats, practically reverting to a 3-class cabin again. Not yet on the Mauritius route, but… So if MK wants to stay abreast they have to dish out the cash for a new cabin as well. And another minor detail: AF flies their A343s in a 248 pax cabin layout, LH – 218. Where is MK with 298/300? Guess in the league of the charter airlines.
And YES, OF COURSE, the fuel hedging. But I will leave this to the professionals…

Chapter 2 to follow.
dessas is offline  
Old 15th Jun 2010, 12:58
  #2 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dodoland
Age: 57
Posts: 69
MK keep digging in!

Last week AF, Air Austral and CorsairFly boycotted a regional tourist authority meeting in La Reunion. MK was the only airline present. The L'Express Weekend title was Air Mauritius is "jealous"...
As of today AF started offering the Comfort Economy to La Reunion:
http://home.edt02.net/emc/R/emcrV4d....35-0-0-0-0-712

dessas is offline  

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