Mauritius Refleets! Thousands Cheer!

mauritius

Who among hasn’t, at one time, or another, flown Air Mauritius, the flag carrier of the Republic of Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean south and east of Africa immensely popular with deep-pocketed tourists and persons like myself, whom the world’s airlines are forever flying from one picturesque destination to another in hope of being mentioned in blogs?

At the half-dozen Farnborough International Airshows I’ve attended at Flyertalk’s behest over the years, I’ve never known the excitement level to rise as high as it did this morning when Air Mauritius announced Step 5 of its closely-watched 7-Step Recovery and Sustainability Plan — namely, to replace its existing fleet of A340-300s with six new Airbus A350-900s.

AM’s reflecting will, as one might expect, occur in phases. Its ultimate goal is to offer increased passenger comfort while at the same time making the carrier more profitable; the A350-900, you see, is a significantly less voracious consumer of fuel than the earlier A340-300. But don’t believe me. Believe the carrier’s chief executive, Andre Viljoen, who advised the exultant thousands here at Farnborough, “These fuel efficient A350-900s are key to modernizing our fleet, and will significantly reduce operational costs. This aircraft is the game-changer we were looking for to improve our products and competitiveness.”

It isn’t, do note, that AM isn’t already profitable. It regained profitability in the past fiscal year. But it is of course the nature of corporations to aspire endlessly to ever greater profitability.

AM’s first two A350-900 planes will be delivered in 2017 through operating leases from AerCap Holdings, while the remaining two-thirds of the new fleet will be supplied directly by Airbus, with two aircraft to be delivered in both 2019 and 2020. The wily carrier may later exercise an option to place additional orders of up to three A350 between 2023 and 2025 on the same terms and conditions that led to the selection of the first four aircraft. For all the ecstatic cheering, whistling, and whooping that it inspired, you might have imagined that England had just won the World Cup when an AM spokesman revealed this morning that “this landmark decision follows a rigorous and transparent evaluation and selection process.”

At the World Travel Awards in January 2012, Mauritius was named the world’s Leading Island Destination, and pronounced the owner of the World’s Best Beach, this in spite of having been visited first by Arabs, who named it Dina Arobi, and later the Portuguese, who renamed it Cirne, during the Dark Ages, but apparently not so dark as to preclude navigation in the Indian Ocean. The island languished uninhabited, its gorgeous beaches bereft of rich German industrialists with white hair on their swollen bellies and their lissome Swiss mistresses in bikinis, until the Dutch arrived in 1638 and renamed it after Prince Maurice van Nassau, who also got a county on Long Island, New York, named after him, and a stadium. The island was celebrated at one point as the only home of the Dodo, which was made extinct by human activities relatively shortly after the island’s settlement. D’oh!

It is unclear whether Mauritius’s unusually attractive flag is meant to suggest support of The Gay Agenda.

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Comments (Showing 1 of 1)

  • tchase at 4:00pm July 18, 2014

    Loving the graphics!!

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