From Qatar Airways to AirAsia X in Mauritius, a pattern emerge!

By A.F. in Kuala Lumpur

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A recent article posted by Worldfuturetv.com gives a clear indication that doing business with foreign airlines in Mauritius is a tough call.

The article also confirmed that there are pressure groups against such deals with Air Mauritius.

Peer pressure from industry players in the tiny Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius forced Qatar Airways out of a potential deal with Air Mauritius in the past, said a weekly online business magazine in Mauritius.

The Biz Week said sources indicated that the AirAsia X’s retreat from Mauritius was not the first time a foreign airline failed in its attempt to work with Mauritius.

Before AirAsia X, there was a precedence reminiscent of the powers of local pressure groups – either from industry players or ethnic groups.

Qatar Airways started to show interest in Mauritius around the year 2000.

The weekly, not sure of the reasons why such deals are not brockered said sources also indicated the Qataris abandoned the negotiations based on the juicy offers made by Air Mauritius to the Emirates Airlines.

Air Mauritius signed a deal with Emirates but the then Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam expressed the wish that the national airliner had Qatar Airways as a partner.

In 2015, another attempt by Qatar to get its airline to fly by Mauritius but nothing has happened since.

The pattern here shows some similar traits going on with Air Asia X and Qatar Airways.

The Mauritian government had made deals with Singapore Airlines prior to Air Asia X was allowed to land there.

MAS went the same way

As compared to the Emirates and Qatar Airways negotiations with Mauritius went on back and forth, the negotiations with Singapore Airlines and Air Asia X is also similar.

A source close to the matter said that Malaysia Airlines Berhad (Malaysia Airlines System back then) faced a similar predicament back in the early 1990s.

However, the difference with MAS and the other airlines was that the Malaysian airliner wanted to acquire a majority stake in Air Mauritius, and offered terms and conditions that were not acceptable to the then ruling government.

The source also said had the government gone forward with MAS’s plans to acquire more than 50% shares, and to run the entire airline, there would have either been political, industrial or ethnic pressure for the deal to fall apart.

Air Mauritius is currently listed as a partner with MAB on the latter’s web portal.