|Founded||14 June 1967|
|Commenced operations||August 1972|
|Hubs||Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport|
|Parent company||Air Mauritius Holdings Ltd. (51%)|
|Headquarters||Port Louis, Mauritius|
|Revenue||EUR 499.8 million (FY2019)|
|Operating income||EUR 12,388 million (FY2019)|
|Profit||EUR +28.0 million (FY2019)|
|Total assets||EUR 360,526 million (FY2019)|
|Total equity||EUR 49,396 million (FY2019)|
Air Mauritius is the flag carrier airline of Mauritius. The airline is headquartered in Port Louis, Mauritius, with its hub based at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. The company was placed in voluntary administration on 22 April 2020 in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and exited administration mid-2021.
The company was set up on 14 June 1967by Air France, the BOAC enterprise, and the Government of Mauritius, with a 27.5% stake each; the balance was held by Rogers and Co. Ltd., the general sales agent for Air France and BOAC in Mauritius.
In the beginning, the carrier operated international services in conjunction with Air France, Air India and British Airways, which jointly had a 25% holding in Air Mauritius at that time.: 1131 : 41 Until 1972, the company restricted its activities to ground services only; it started flight operations in its own right in August 1972 with a six-seater Piper PA-31 Navajo aircraft leased from Air Madagascar, connecting Mauritius with Rodrigues.: 41 The aircraft wore an Air Mauritius decor, but kept a Malagasy registration.
In 1973, a wet-leased Vickers VC10 from British Airways enabled the company to launch a long-haul route to London via Nairobi,: 41 : 474 whereas services to Bombay were operated by Air India. The Navajo was replaced with a 16-seater Twin Otter that was acquired in 1975. When an agreement with Air France and British Airways came to an end, a Boeing 707-400 wet-leased from British Airtours helped the airline to start long-haul services in its own right. Long-range operations started on 1 November 1977 .: 1131 A second Twin Otter arrived in 1979.
By April 1980, the company had 414 employees and a fleet of one Boeing 707-420, one Boeing 737-200 and two Twin Otters to serve a route network of passenger and cargo services to Bombay, London, Nairobi, Réunion, Rodrigues, Rome and Tananarive. Ownership of the company had changed to have the government of Mauritius as the major shareholder (42.5%), followed by Rogers & Co. (17.5%), Air France and British Airways (15% each) and Air India (10%). Air Mauritius acquired a second-hand Boeing 707-320B in 1981. It had previously belonged to South African Airways (SAA), and permitted the airline to return the Boeing 707-400 to British Airtours. In November 1981 , a joint service between Air Mauritius and Air Madagascar began in the Tananarive–Mauritius–Comoros–Nairobi and Réunion–Mauritius runs, following the lease of an Air Madagascar Boeing 737. During the early 1980s, routes to Durban and Johannesburg were inaugurated using Boeing 707-320B aircraft flown with Air India and British Airways crews. The incorporation of a second aircraft of the type, bought from Luxavia, allowed the carrier to expand the European route network to Rome and Zurich in 1983, whereas Paris was added in the mid-1980s. Leased from SAA, a Boeing 747SP named ″Chateau de Réduit″ entered the fleet in November 1984 and was deployed on services to London. By March 1985 , the fleet comprised two Boeing 707-320Bs, a Boeing 737-200, a Boeing 747SP and a Twin Otter. That month, the first of two Bell 206 JetRangers was incorporated. In April, a 46-seater ATR 42 was ordered, and Singapore was added to the route network with a weekly service using Boeing 707 equipment. In June that year, Air Mauritius joined the African Airlines Association. The carrier made a profit of GBP3.5 million for the fiscal year 1985–86.
In 1986, a second Boeing 747SP that was also leased from SAA entered the fleet; it was named ″Chateau Mon Plaisir″. The incorporation of this aircraft allowed the carrier to phase out a Boeing 707. In 1987, South African Airways' landing rights on Australian soil were suspended by the Australian government and Qantas ceased its operations in South Africa. There had been an increase in demand from businessmen since that time, as most passengers travelling from South Africa to Australia had to stop at Hong Kong, Taipei or Singapore. Given that landing rights in Australia for Air Mauritius had not been approved yet, a Boeing 747SP non-stop service to Hong Kong commenced on 29 October 1989, in cooperation with Cathay Pacific. Flights to Kuala Lumpur had started in May 1988 .
Valued at US$122 million and financed by a group of banks that included Barclays, BNP, Crédit Lyonnais and the Spectrum Bank, the company took delivery of two Boeing 767-200ERs in April 1988 . These aircraft were named ″City of Port Louis″ and ″City of Curepipe″. One of them set a record-breaking distance for commercial twinjets on 18 April 1988 , when it flew non-stop from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Mauritius, covering a distance of almost 9,000 miles (14,000 km) in less than 17 hours. A contract worth US$8.9 million including spare parts for these two Boeing 767s had been signed a year earlier. Also in 1988, a Boeing 707 was leased from Air Swazi Cargo to operate freighter services, and the first ATR-42 started revenue flights in December, replacing the Twin Otters on inter-island services. A second ATR-42 was ordered in September 1989 .
By March 1990, the route network included Antananarivo, Bombay, Durban, Geneva, Harare, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, London, Moroni, Munich, Nairobi, Paris, Reunion, Rodrigues, Rome, Singapore and Zurich. A new route to Perth was inaugurated in December 1991 . Named ″Paille en Queue″ and leased from ILFC, the first Airbus A340-300 entered the fleet in May 1994 ; following delivery, a Boeing 747SP that was on lease from SAA was returned. The airline became the first in the Southern Hemisphere to fly the A340-300. A second A340-300, named ″Pink Pigeon″ and purchased directly from Airbus, was handed over by the aircraft manufacturer in October. Services to Brussels and Cape Town were launched in July and November that year. Also leased from ILFC and named ″Kestrel″, Air Mauritius' third A340-300 joined the fleet in April 1995 . The airline started trading on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius during the year. In 1996, the last Boeing 747SP was sold to Qatar Airways and direct flights to Manchester were launched.
At April 2000, Air Mauritius had 2,000 employees. At this time, the airline had a fleet of five Airbus A340-300s, one ATR42-300, two ATR42-500s and two Boeing 767-200ERs that served a route network including Antananarivo, Brussels, Cape Town, Delhi, Durban, Frankfurt, Geneva, Harare, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, London, Mahe Island, Manchester, Maputo, Mauritius, Melbourne, Milan, Mumbai, Munich, Paris, Perth, Rodrigues Island, Rome, Singapore, St Denis de la Reunion, St Pierre de la Reunion, Vienna and Zürich. African medium-haul routes started utilising the Airbus A319 following its delivery in 2001. The A340-300 Enhanced version was ordered by the carrier in mid-2005. The A340-300 Enhanced was put on service on the London Heathrow route in December 2006, soon after delivery. In late 2007, the fleet saw the incorporation of the Airbus A330-200; a second aircraft of the same type was delivered in October 2009 .
In March 2016, Air Mauritius launched the 'Air Corridor' with its first direct flights to Singapore, which was previously served via Kuala Lumpur. The new route aimed at improving air connectivity between Mauritius and Singapore in order to stimulate the growth of passenger and cargo traffic between Asia and Africa through these two hubs.
On 22 April 2020, the board of directors took the decision to place the Company under voluntary administration after coronavirus-related disruptions made it impossible for the airline to meet its financial obligations for the foreseeable future. The pandemic had a major impact on the revenue of the company while it was seeking to change its business model to address existing financial problems. The company will continue its operation, this decision was taken to safeguard the interest of the company and its stakeholders.
As of March 2019[update] Dev Manraj, G.O.S.K held the chairman position and BUTON Indradev was the officer in charge. Dev Manraj was a key figure in the MCB-NPF financial scandal which came to light in 2003. In December 2022, Krešimir Kučko, former Croatia Airlines and Gulf Air CEO, was appointed CEO of Air Mauritius.
Air Mauritius was the first Mauritian company with its majority owned by the state that made their shares public. Listing was granted in November 1994 and share trading on the stock exchange of Mauritius commenced in February 1995.: 170 As of 31 March 2018[update], shareholders having more than 5% of direct participation in the airline were Air Mauritius Holdings Ltd. (51%) and the government of Mauritius (8.37%), while other investors held the remaining stake.: 153 Air Mauritius Holdings Ltd. was in turn owned in its majority (43.83%) by the Mauritian Government. Air Mauritius Limited's wholly owned subsidiaries were Airmate Ltd., Air Mauritius Holidays Ltd., Air Mauritius Holidays (Pty) Ltd. Australia, Air Mauritius Institute Co. Ltd., Air Mauritius SA (Proprietary) Ltd., Mauritian Holidays Ltd. (UK) and Mauritius Helicopters Ltd.; partly owned subsidiaries were Mauritius Estate Development Corporation Ltd. (93.7%), Pointe Coton Resort Hotel Company Ltd. (54.2%), and Mauritius Shopping Paradise Company Ltd. (41.7%).: 164
The key trends for Air Mauritius over recent years are shown below (as at year ending 31 March):
|Net Profit (EURm)||-6.7||17.0||-85.5||-6.0||10.3||-29.4||-2.5||8.5||-22.9||16.5||26.9||4.9||-28.0|
|Number of passengers (000s)||1,177||1,311||1,192||1,133||1,295||1,325||1,297||1,330||1,370||1,499||1,603||1,695||1,724|
|Passenger load factor (%)||74.6||76.8||74.9||80.6||79.8||77.1||78.9||75.5||73.7||78.7||79.6||78.9||78.4|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||12||12||12||12||12||12||12||12||12||13||13||15||12|
As of March 2015[update], Air Mauritius had its headquarters at Air Mauritius Centre in Port Louis, Mauritius.
Air Mauritius was the focus of a politico-financial scandal known as the Caisse Noire Affair. As a result of the investigation which lasted from 2001 to 2015 several senior members of its management including Gérard Tyack, Sir Harry Tirvengadum and others were prosecuted. Gérard Tyack was jailed.
Main article: List of Air Mauritius destinations
In September 2015, the carrier signed a cooperation agreement with Air Austral, Air Madagascar, Air Seychelles and Inter Ile Air that established Vanilla Alliance and is aimed at improving air services between the Indian Ocean Commission members.
As of October 2018[update], Air Mauritius served 22 destinations from its hub in Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, three of them domestic.
Air Mauritius has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:
Air Mauritius' frequent flyer programme is called Kestrelflyer, which offers Silver and Gold accounts.
In July 2014, during the Farnborough Air Show, it was announced Air Mauritius signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for six Airbus A350-900s, of which two will be leased from AerCap Holdings and with the option to place additional orders for up to three more aircraft of the type between 2023 and 2025. It was originally planned that the leased aircraft would join the fleet by the end 2017 and the other four would join in 2019 and 2020.
In February 2017, Air Mauritius announced that it would be leasing two Airbus A330-900 aircraft from Air Lease Corporation to replace two Airbus A340-300E aircraft from September and October 2018. Due to delays from Airbus, these aircraft were delivered in April and June 2019. The two Airbus A350-900 that were due to be delivered in 2020, were pushed back to 2023. It was also announced that the airline's existing aircraft would be refurbished with new seats, new inflight entertainment systems and onboard Wi-Fi. The revamp of the cabin interiors was planned to be completed by June 2018. The two Airbus A350-900s that were due to join the fleet in 2019 were sublet to South African Airlines for 3 years. In August 2020, these aircraft were returned early by SAA, due to financial difficulties.
In July 2021, the airline completed the sale of its two Airbus A319 and remaining Airbus A340 aircraft. The retirement of the Airbus A340 marked the end of 27 years of service of the fleet type with the airline. The retirement of the two Airbus A330-200 from the fleet was completed by end of November 2021.
As of December 2021[update], the Air Mauritius fleet consisted of the following aircraft:
The airline also operates two Bell 206 JetRanger helicopters that are used for tour services.
The airline previously operated the following aircraft:
In March 2016, the island's flag carrier Air Mauritius said it would move its Southeast Asian hub from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Singapore's Changi.
On 18 April 1988, an Air Mauritius 767-200ER set a new distance record for commercial twinjets--flying 8,727 statute miles (14,042 kilometers) from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Mauritius in 16 hours and 27 minutes.
Aero Systems of Miami has celebrated its 30th anniversary with a $8.9 million order from Air Mauritius for spares for its two new Boeing 767-300ERs.
Air Mauritius and Trans World Express have each ordered an ATR42.
Air Mauritius has ordered two CFM International CFM56-powered A319s, for delivery in the third quarter of 2001 and third quarter of 2002.
Air Mauritius announced an overhaul of its long-haul product beginning in December on its route to London-Heathrow operated with two soon-to-be-delivered A340-300Es.
Air France Industries signed a multiyear contract with Air Mauritius for overhaul of 31 CFM56-5C engines and component maintenance of two new A330-200s to be delivered this month and at the end of 2009.
Air Mauritius this week took delivery of a second A330-200 powered by GE CF6-80E engines.