Normally, it's already complicated, but on the eve of the peak period, the situation gets tougher. According to our information, many Rodrigues who wish to come to Mauritius for medical reasons or for business do not know which way to turn. The four Air Mauritius flights are no longer enough while the number of tourists is increasing.
A businessman from Port-Mathurin, also a tourist operator, says that many of his peers struggle to make a business trip. “It’s very complicated at this time. We do not have all the services in Rodrigues. For example, the head of a company who must urgently go to Mauritius to buy a spare part to run his business takes a plane ticket at the last minute to return the next day. There are also people who want to go to Mauritius to consult specialists, as well as businessmen who need to meet partners. We don't know what to do anymore. There are even Rodriguans in Mauritius who have to return to the island because of a death or to see a sick relative and who are unable to obtain a ticket. Additional flights would be needed,” he recommends.
The businessman maintains that all Air Mauritius flights are full and when his tourism colleagues proposed to Air Mauritius to provide additional flights for those who buy their ticket at the last moment, they were told that the company does so only when the requests could fill a plane. “The route between Mauritius and Rodrigues is the only flight in the region that is always full. It is a commercial strategy, decided by management, who believes that there should not be empty seats on flights. However, if it starts putting a flight on standby, there will be reservations to fill it. The people of Rodrigues must have the possibility of taking the plane at the last minute. Do you know how many children were not able to be with their parents before their death?” he said.
An Air Mauritius source says that there is always little space on flights in summer between Mauritius and Rodrigues. “We currently have a minimum of four flights per day, not counting additional flights when necessary. There could be ten flights during peak periods. We recognize that many Rodriguans cannot find a place because many of them come to Mauritius with an open ticket while tourists have already confirmed their departure date. This is why they cannot find a place. The same goes for the journey from Rodrigues to Mauritius. They often want to buy a ticket on the day of their departure or the day before. It’s complicated to schedule an additional flight without planning due to the availability of ATR 72s which are sometimes in Reunion or undergoing maintenance,” he explains.
However, Air Mauritius claims that by the first week of January, a new ATR 72 will serve the Mauritius-Rodrigues route. “The plane will be in Mauritius in December in order to take up service shortly thereafter,” says our source.
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