Coronavirus Crisis: Air Mauritius enters into voluntary administration

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By :
Baluku Geoffrey

Air Mauritius has starting today entered voluntary administration after coronavirus-related disruptions made it impossible for the airline to meet its financial obligations, its board said on Wednesday.

In a communique which Africa Tembelea has seen, Air Mauritius Board of Directors said, the decision was taken to safeguard the interest of the Company and that of its stakeholders.

This follows worldwide travel restrictions and the closure of borders in all the airlines markets and cessation of all international and domestic flights in an unprecedented crisis, that has led to a complete erosion of the Company’s revenue base.

“The Board, therefore, took the decision to place the Company under voluntary administration in order to safeguard the interest of the Company and that of all its stakeholders,” a communique signed by Company Secretary, Roodesh Muttylall read in part.

According to Muttylall, consultations were held with all concerned stakeholders and substantial progress was made in formulating the Action Plan that the board used to take this decision.

“In January 2020, the Board had set up a Transformation Steering Committee with a view to addressing the financial difficulties of the Company and to reviewing its business model for ensuring a sustainable future,” Muttylall said.

“Wide consultations were held with all concerned stakeholders and substantial progress was made in formulating the Action Plan to be recommended to the Board,” he added.

Sattar Hajee Abdoula, FCA and Arvindsingh K. Gokhool, FCCA of Grant Thornton have been appointed, under sections 215 and 216 of the Insolvency Act, to serve as administrators of the Company, with effect from Wednesday 22 April 2020 at 14.00 hrs.

Air Mauritius is not alone, other airlines have suffered a similar fate, with Virgin Australia (VAH.AX) and South Africa Airways having called in administrators. It is still uncertain as to when international air traffic will resume and all indications tend to show that normal activities will not pick up until late 2020.

– Air Mauritius –

Formed in 1967 as a joint venture between Air France, BOAC (the British Airways predecessor), and the Mauritian government, Air Mauritius managed to start operations in 1972. A year later, the airline started services to London via Nairobi with a Vickers VC10 which was two years later upgraded to a Boeing 707.

According to data from Planespotters, the airline’s current fleet consists of 13 aircraft among which are: 3x ATRs; 2x Airbus A319; 4x Airbus A330; 2x Airbus A340 and 2x Airbus A350s.

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