World | Indian Ocean

October 07, 2013

With China Support: Mauritius for the Creation of New Airline

Boost regional tourism by creating an airline that would serve the islands of the Indian Ocean and the countries of the east coast of Africa, including Kenya or Burundi and South Africa, is a serious agenda.

The option of creating a regional airline is under consideration. An agreement was signed between Mauritius and China that it helps make this happen. Confirming information, Arvin Boolell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the first step will be a feasibility study.

"We have asked the Chinese to help us in this direction," said the minister. "The potential in terms of tourists is considerable. But creating and operating an airline is not as easy. That is why we want to do this study to see if it would really be viable, "said Arvin Boolell.

The minister added that a public-private partnership is "a possibility. "He will have to see how the countries of the region will be involved in the project and in what form. But Arvin Boolell, there is a compelling logic.

"If it is not profitable, no one will take the risk of investing there. "A priori, the critical mass is there. Together, the countries of the region, including the east coast of the continent, representing more than 100 million people. And economic growth in Africa, the circle of people with a fairly comfortable income to travel outside the borders widens.

The idea of creating a regional airline was relaunched it a few months ago by Jean-Claude Estrac the Secretary-General of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC). But if the idea seems attractive, Arvin Boolell emphasizes that "we must learn from the past, although this should not prevent it from moving."

In Mauritius, we think Catovair, airline IBL was founded to provide flights Mauritius-Reunion-Rodrigues. Without the support of the Mauritian government Catovair ceased operations in 2008. Then there is the case Air Afrique. The name was given to several airlines, including the first in 1926.

The carrier last name bit the dust in 2002. Each time, it was to create an airline to better serve the continent. It will also deal with the resistance of existing and active airlines in the Indian Ocean. For Air Mauritius, for example, connecting Mauritius-Reunion is extremely profitable. See another operator to tap into this pool will probably not make him happy. A price war could however boost inter-island travel.

 

 

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