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12 July 2018 - Annual Meeting of shareholders

Air Mauritius held its Annual General Meeting today Thursday 12 July 2018 at 15h00 during which, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Somas Appavou, presented and explained the company’s accounts.

Our Action plan
Our actions hinge on transforming Mauritius into a strategic hub despite the many challenges including rising fuel prices, volatile exchange rates and competition. They aim at building resilience and business agility in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the company. Initiatives taken will create the conditions for growth, improve competitiveness, manage costs and reinforce capabilities of the organisation.

A strong network will be an important instrument for growth and is designed to position Mauritius as a strategic hub between Africa and Asia, two continents which are rapidly expanding. Air Mauritius is working on improved schedules and enhanced frequencies. These measures will allow better connectivity with India, South East Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and the Indian Ocean.

Negotiations are ongoing and Airlines partnerships are being consolidated. The company is also looking into new opportunities. For example, operations are planned to new destinations, like Bangkok, Thailand and Wuhan, China. At the same time, new markets are being explored including Seychelles, Comoros and South Korea.

In order to reinforce regional cooperation, consultations are under way with several partner airlines and potential partners. Collaboration with Kenya Airways has been deepened under which seven flights a week are being operated to Nairobi. CEOs of the Vanilla Alliance airlines met last month and reaffirmed their commitment to reinforce their collaboration. Consultations are also ongoing with other African airlines including SAA, Kenya Airways and Rwandair for the setting up of the first African alliance.
An advantage of reinforcing these partnerships would be to achieve the much needed economies of scale for better efficiency and collaborations including shared services and transfer of knowledge.

Enhanced competitiveness
In order to better face the challenges of increasing competition, Air Mauritius has embarked on an ambitious plan to upgrade its products. The company aims at positioning its passenger experience through the reflection of the country’s true values.

Improving efficiency
Better operational efficiency is being achieved from the acquisition of a modernized fleet. The fleetrenewal program started in October last year with the arrival of the first two Airbus A350 aircraft. Twomore Airbus A330neo are to be delivered by the end of the year, offering similar comfort and inflight facilities. Two Airbus A350-900 will be joining the fleet in 2019 and two more in 2023.
Several initiatives have been taken to improve productivity, through the optimisation of resources and the use of new technologies.

Nurturing the human capital
Development of its human capital is a priority for the company. The opening the Air Mauritius Institute is imminent and it will offer a wide range of aviation and management courses to the personnel. This also includes the setting up of a flying academy, which will allow training of pilots and cabin crew locally.

Robust Fundamentals
Presenting the Financial Results, CEO Somas Appavou stated that Air Mauritius remains profitable in spite of a tough operating environment. Operating revenue increased to a record EUR 509.6 million, passing the EUR 500 million mark for the first time. Cargo operations also displayed a solid growth rate of 12.8% to reach EUR 48.0 million. Company expenses increased mainly on account of increased levels of operations, rising fuel prices and financial costs. Air Mauritius posted a profit of EUR 4.5 million for financial year 2017/18. These results also reflect the massive investments made in the modernisation of the fleet, development of the network and improvement of product offerings. 

Network development initiatives yielded a record operating performance with a 5.9% increase in capacity to a total of 2,269,214 seats offered. The number of passengers carried grew by 5.8% to reach 1,694,956. Air Mauritius therefore made good use of the extra capacity in spite of stringent competition, with load factors stabilized at 78.9%. This is in line with global trends and compares favorably to the average load factor of 70.9% for the African region in 2017. 

Questions from Shareholders
The Board of Directors also answered a number of questions raised by Shareholders.
To a question, Chairman Dr. Arjoon Suddhoo reaffirmed the commitment of Air Mauritius to its employees whom he described as the company’s most valued asset. He commended management for having concluded an MOU with the Intersydical and hoped for the successful conclusion of the remaining negotiations.
Chairman and CEO also answered to Shareholders on the issue of mauritianisaition of the pilot’s workforce. The company is committed to its Pilot Development Programmes. The CEO added that more than 50% of the pilot’s workforce is Mauritian. The last selection process is ongoing and 32 short listed candidates are going through the selection process.

Answering a question about Air Mauritius’s involvement in setting up of an airline in Comoros, CEO Somas Appavou explained that following the signature of an MOU with the government of the Comoros on 14 March this year, Air Mauritius offered its support and expertise in assessing and in the setting up of a new airline for the archipelago. The contours of the airline, to be known as Karthala Airways have been defined and the Comoros Government is waiting for the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) process to be finalised.

Company accounts for Financial Year 2017/18 were approved.

Election of Board Directors
Mrs Banoomatee Veerasamy and Mr Ashwani Lohani were thanked for their valuable contribution during their tenure.

The following directors have been re-elected:
1. Dr Arjoon SUDDHOO, FRAeS
2. Mr Somaskaran Thiagarajan APPAVOU
3. Mr Anwar ABBASAKOOR
4. Mr Nayen Koomar BALLAH, G.O.S.K.
5. Mr Marie Hector Philippe ESPITALIER NOËL
6. Mr Derek LAM PO TANG
7. Mr Dharam Dev MANRAJ, G.O.S.K.
8. Mr Ramprakash MAUNTHROOA
9. Mr Bissoon MUNGROO, G.O.S.K.
10. Mrs Ammanah RAGAVOODOO
11. Mr Jean Michel Louis RIVALLAND
12. Mr Patrick René Aimé ROUX
13. Mr Muhammad Yoosuf SALEMOHAMED

Two new Board Directors were elected, namely, Mr Manikchand BEEJAN and Mr Pradeep Singh KHAROLA.

The Assembly ended at 17H30.