The flag carrier of Mauritius has today been another example of the detrimental effect that COVID-19 is having on the travel industry. Like Virgin Australia earlier on this week, Air Mauritius has fallen into voluntary administration.
A communiqué from the airline's Board of Directors indicated that Grant Thornton have been appointed administrators of the company with effect Wednesday 22nd April at 1400 hours.
Air Mauritius A330-900neo. Photo by Benjamin Liew | AeroNewsX
The Board further stated that "In these circumstances, it is expected that the company will not be able to meet its financial obligations in the foreseeable future. This has led to the decision of voluntary administration to safeguard the company and the interest of its stakeholders."
Like most airlines Air Mauritius has been affected by travel restrictions and the closure of borders in most, if not all of its markets, leading to a complete erosion of the company's revenue base. The importance of the airline was stated by the two appointed Director Partners at Grant Thornton: Mr A. Sattar Hajee Abdoula and Mr Arvindsingh K. Gokhool. They maintain that the national aviation company is a key player in the economy of Mauritius and also a part of its history, having stated that "Our mission is above all to save the company."
Headquartered in Port Louis, Mauritius, the airline has been flying passengers since the early seventies. but having been founded in the sixties and originally restricted to ground services. Air Mauritius has 13 aircraft in its fleet and boasts to be the first airline worldwide to operate both the A330neo and A350 XWB aircraft. The airline carries over 44,000 tonnes of cargo to the Island according to their 2018/2019 annual report showing how vital it is to the island state's economic development. Air Mauritius Holdings Ltd (51%) and the Government of Mauritius (8.37%) are the two biggest ordinary shareholders of the airline.
As the unprecedented pandemic continues to make a global impact, there have however been signs of a slow down, with Mauritius having days with zero reported new cases.