Air Mauritius considering partnering Air Madagascar

Air Mauritius (MK, Mauritius) has expressed an interest becoming a strategic partner to fellow Indian Ocean operator Air Madagascar (MD, Antananarivo).

The Express newspaper reports Air Mauritius CEO Megh Pillay has already held preliminary talks with his counterpart, Gilles Filiatreault, in Antananarivo concerning the proposal. In addition, sources have told the paper that members of the Malagasy carrier have already traveled to Mauritius to “explore possible areas of collaboration.”

Earlier this year, Filiatreault said the Malagasy government, which owns 89% of Air Madagascar, was actively scouting for a suitable partner to help turn the ailing carrier’s fortunes around.

With debts of over USD80 million, the airline is in the midst of a restructuring programme that has thus far seen unprofitable routes such as Johannesburg O.R. Tambo and Bangkok Suvarnabhumicut from its network. Flights to Guangzhou that were discontinued in January, may be resumed during the last quarter of the year albeit as a partnership with another Indian Ocean-based operator,Air Austral (UU, St. Denis de la Réunion).

For its part, Air Mauritius has continued its upward trend following its own restructuring programme, initiated under previous CEO Andre Viljoen. Having previously relied on the tourism sector for much of its revenue, the Mauritian national carrier is currently in the process of repositioning itself and Mauritius as a primary conduit for traffic between mainland Africa and the Far East.

Published: 19 MAY 2016
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