No man is an island: Air Mauritius benefits from a move out of its comfort zone

Oliver Gill
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Mauritius became an independent nation in 1968 but it wasn't until 1992 that it joined the Commonwealth (Source: Getty)

Air Mauritius posted its best first quarter results in ten years as lower oil prices piloted a return to profitability.

Although modest, the €2m net profit for the three months to June 2016 was a huge turnaround from a €9.8m loss during the same period in 2015.

"This positive performance is due to the company’s efforts to improve efficiency at all levels. It is also the result of a reduction in operating costs, mainly due to the drop in fuel price, which fell from $61 to $44 per barrel on average," the company said.

The airline recently introduced a series of new routes that included flights to Zanzibar. The hope is that this will open up further routes into southern Africa.

Similar to many mainstream European carriers, the number of passengers carried increased. A total of 343,773 were carried in the three month period, up nine per cent on 2015.

Meanwhile loads increased, gaining a further 2.1 per cent to 77.2 per cent.

The announcement is hot on the heels of annual results for the year to March 2016 that saw the airline return to profitability – generating a €16.3m positive performance compared to a €23.6m loss in 2015.

The company was not in full celebratory mood though as it announced that passenger yields had fallen.

"The positive effects [are] mitigated by a fall of 5.6 per cent in yield following numerous promotional campaigns supported by a decrease in fares on all destinations.

"Furthermore the company is facing fierce competition from existing airlines as well as new mega carriers operating to Mauritius," it said.

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