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Legal case against former airline CEO stalled

Air Mauritius posts more losses

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Aug 14, 2011

(eTN) - Information was received during the week that Air Mauritius had to post another loss, almost identical to the same period of the last financial year, of over 11 million euros or almost US$16 million. The airline reportedly blamed the repeat on slower-than-expected demand and the impact of the substantially higher cost for aviation fuel. One source conceded that the outlook was "challenging" for the rest of the current year in view of the fallout of the euro zone crisis vis-a-vis holiday patterns from key European markets to Mauritius.

Only recently were suggestions floated by the Mauritian hospitality industry to allow more flights into the island by foreign airlines to match seats to the number of available beds and thus support higher occupancies. The government in Mauritius, however, is renowned for its protective stand vis-a-vis their national airline and is now faced with a stark choice, to stay protectionist and risk the wrath of hoteliers and resort operators for lack of clients or else follow in the footsteps of the Seychelles, which has opened the skies for foreign airlines and will by the end of this year have 25 frequencies per week alone from the Gulf area, from where Emirates will be double daily, Qatar daily, and Etihad will have started with initially 4 flights per week.

Meanwhile, a legal case against the airline’s former CEO, Sir Harry Tirvengadum, has stalled once again, as Sir Harry was reportedly in no condition to face trial over allegations of embezzlement of company funds during his 12 years at the helm of Air Mauritius. The next attempt to schedule a hearing will be in four months, during which more medical reports are expected to ascertain Sir Harry’s health status.

Air Mauritius posts more losses
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