CASE IN POINT | Air Mauritius
by Samantha Barnes
Winning Airline Continues to Impress
Many readers will remember actor Tom Cruise in the film Top Gun. He was the man. The sight of Tom Cruise as a pilot in his dark glasses, striding onto the airport tarmac, set hearts aflutter and pulses racing. In a similar way, Air Mauritius has established itself as an airline of substance, scooping more than a handful of international awards as a leading airline. These awards acknowledge its top-notch service both on the ground and in-flight.
Air Mauritius has been voted the leading airline in the Indian Ocean area at the World Travel Awards for seven consecutive years. This is an incredible feat when you consider how many airlines would be competing for this honour. Carla Da Silva, regional manager, Africa and Latin America, shares some ongoing changes and enhancements that Air Mauritius Limited has been implementing in accordance with its seven-step plan. The overall objective is living up to these very credible awards and enhancing its customer experience.
Air Mauritius is not just an airline operating between the island of Mauritius and Africa. The airline also offers flights to and from Europe, Asia, Australia, India and Africa and is always reviewing its network and product offering.
Passengers a Priority
“Air Mauritius has undergone numerous changes recently to enhance its service delivery and commitment to our passengers. As a
company, we rolled out a seven-step plan in order to achieve sustainability and success,” says Da Silva. She is particularly pleased that Air Mauritius has received the prestigious international SKYTRAX 4 Star Award. “The professional quality rating recognises the improvements in our service quality and in our product,” she stresses.
“The current operating environment is tough and remains challenging. Persistent high costs, soaring fuel prices, subdued world economies, volatile exchange rates and rising taxes require the aviation industry to remain very vigilant. Growth and smart investments are absolutely essential in ensuring that Air Mauritius is an airline equipped to withstand the growing competition,” says Da Silva.
“Fleet renewal is therefore an important item on our agenda. We have ordered six new Airbus A350-900 XWB new-generation aircrafts. This is a real game changer for the airline. Not only will we be flying one of the most modern fleets, but it will also address the costs associated with maintenance and fuel.”
The airport in Mauritius has been upgraded and a new terminal was opened in October 2014 with a phenomenal Air Mauritius lounge. This caters for business travellers to Mauritius or for those travelling beyond Mauritius to the airline’s international destinations. The Amedee Maingard Lounge at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the departure halls. This unrivalled luxury airport lounge provides an exclusive experience. The Amedee Maingard Lounge was recently voted Best African Airport Lounge at the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards.
Catering for All Tastes
The average consumer is now exposed to celebrity chef TV shows. Even when going to the grocery store, we are presented with a huge range of food choices. There are also cultural preferences (some prefer their chicken mild, others spicy) and dietary requirements to consider. Gone are the days of a cold roll and one of two meal options when travelling with your favourite airline. Passengers are discerning.
Ever conscious that their passengers are diverse, and that they have discerning tastes, Air Mauritius prides itself on providing a superior meal service for all passengers. The airline has made significant changes to its diverse menu, which includes Creole, European, Asian or Indian. Menus are adapted to suit each route.
“The extraordinary richness of Mauritian cuisine is rooted in the island’s diverse cultural mix. On board our aircraft, we want to give you a taste of this richness,” says Da Silva. “We have enhanced our meals in economy and business class to reflect just this. We also adapt any of our meals to your dietary habits as part of our seven-step plan.”
Mauritius Not Just for Honeymooners
Good news for passengers travelling from South Africa to Mauritius is that Air Mauritius launched the renowned Travel Smart brand in 2010. This programme is available right through the year, excluding peak periods, thereby allowing African families to travel to the exotic island in a more affordable manner.
Travel Smart benefits include:
Discounted rates for families.
Two children under the age of 12 travel free of charge with their parents during off-peak periods.
Free business class lounge access for the whole family in South Africa.
Additional luggage is permitted per family member and a free golf bag per passenger.
During Travel Smart season, honeymooners also receive an additional 20% discount for the bride.
This is innovation at its best!
Going the Extra Mile for Passengers
Passengers travelling with Air Mauritius on international routes beyond Mauritius can also enjoy a number of value-added benefits, including 40 kilograms checked luggage, a free date change to travel arrangements, as well as a free stopover in Mauritius should the flights not connect seamlessly. Moreover, the business class rate to London, Paris, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Perth, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, and Hong Kong is only R24 000 all inclusive (fare plus taxes) for 2015.
With many airlines offering special deals in the scramble to attract fully booked flights, it is paramount that Air Mauritius continues to offer good value for money. “We ensure that we remain competitive with our innovative approach to doing business. We believe that passengers are seeking value and this is exactly what we offer,” Da Silva explains.
Top Performers Recognised
Air Mauritius realises the benefits of attracting and retaining top talent at all levels within the airline. “People are valued at Air Mauritius, from daily conversation to recognition. We have an annual awards ceremony for our top performers, whom we recognise and reward. We believe in diversifying portfolios and in offering opportunities for movement and growth. People feel special and valued! So they contribute positively to the organisation,” says Da Silva.
With attention to detail in all spheres of its operation, Air Mauritius continues to attract passengers and travel awards. Give them a call the next time you book your international flights. Bon voyage!