Following continued travel restrictions within its country, Air Mauritius has announced that its flights are scheduled to resume on September 1st. However, the restart is subject to all conditions, including the opening of Mauritius’ borders, being met.
According to a press release, the flag carrier of Mauritius said it will continue performing repatriation flights while maintaining its scheduled commercial cargo operations.
This update follows an increasingly hard period for the airline. In April, it entered into voluntary administration. The carrier’s board came to this decision following an erosion of the airline’s revenues due to the global travel restrictions. Even though the coronavirus pandemic catalyzed the move, the company was already facing financial challenges.
In January 2020, its management had set up a Transformation Steering Committee to look at the issues at hand. The firm did share that there was progress. However, the decline eventually returned.
Air Mauritius has monthly fixed costs of over MUR800m ($20m). This figure includes the salaries of approximately 3,000 employees and the leasing costs of its Airbus A350-900 and A330-900neo aircraft.
International and domestic flights were initially announced to be grounded until May 15th. However, with the resumption now delayed until at least September, it still has to wait many more months for international business to pick up.
Through the troubled period, Air Mauritius has made it clear that its customer service team will continue to offer assistance. The firm shared the below, according to the press release.
“Our Call Centre remains open every day from 08H00 to 20H00 (Mauritian time) for customers who require additional information. We regret all inconveniences caused by these exceptional circumstances.”
A lot at stake
While Mauritius continues to be closed for general international tourists for many more months, it will be missing out on lucrative revenue. According to Knoema, travel and tourism contributed to 24.3 percent of the nation’s GDP in 2018. With Europe relaxing its restrictions, there will no doubt be plenty of travelers having to cancel or postpone their vacations to the country.
Altogether, it is a tough time for both the airline and the country. Even though the island nation is on top of the virus and is relaxing its domestic lockdown rules, it wants to ensure that it does not become complacent. Hopefully, there are impairments to the global situation by the time September arrives. Otherwise, there could be even more troubles for Air Mauritius.
Simple Flying reached out to Air Mauritius for comment on its plans but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.
What are your thoughts on Air Mauritius suspending its international operations until September? Were you expecting to fly with the airline this summer? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.