Air Mauritius to increase its sales footprint
When James Blake joined Air Mauritius as its new regional manager for Australia and New Zealand in June last year, he made it his mission to make the carrier and destination as accessible as possible to the travel trade. And this year, he told travelBulletin, he’ll be taking steps to make good on that promise.
“We have a lot of exciting things happening in 2017,” Blake revealed. “There are lots of opportunities for Air Mauritius in the Australia and New Zealand market…we’re trying to squeeze as many of those in as possible.”
A series of new initiatives are in the pipeline to increase Air Mauritius’ sales footprint within the Australian market, Blake revealed, which include plans to expand its team by introducing two new roles to support local travel trade partners.
Former Malaysian Airlines staffer Julia Lim has filled the newly created Victoria-based role of sales and marketing executive, where she will oversee travel trade sales in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. At the same time, Air Mauritius’ GSA Airline Marketing Australia is currently in the middle of recruiting a new Perth-based sales executive to look after the carrier’s Western Australia and South Australia customers.
Blake hinted that the carrier would also be hosting a “record number” of agent famils in partnership with some of its wholesalers this year, and while he remained tight-lipped as to the exact number, he said “it’s a very significant amount”.
This year will involve many milestones for the carrier, with Air Mauritius to celebrate 50 years since it first commenced global commercial operations, as well as the 25th anniversary of the launch of its flights to and from Australia.
To mark the significant milestones, Air Mauritius will be rolling out a number of special fares in a bid to lure more visitors to experience the East African paradise. To keep up with demand, Blake also told travelBulletin the carrier would be upping its Perth services from twice to thrice weekly from 07 July, with an additional fourth service to be operated during the peak Christmas/New Year’s period between 14 December and 19 January.
This year will also see Air Mauritius take delivery of its first A350 aircraft, which features fully lie-flat seating in Business Class, upgraded inflight entertainment systems in Economy as well as on board internet. There are also plans to upgrade the airline’s existing fleet of A330 and A340 aircraft, with Blake confirming the planes will undertake a progressive retrofit program at the end of Jan so that the carrier can introduce new inflight product across the fleet.
When questioned if the carrier would relaunch its triangular service between Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, Blake replied “what we need to do is concentrate on our Perth service”.
“At the moment we have two flights a week and we’re going up to three. You could say we’re increasing our capacity by 50%. But there is a still a great opportunity for us to further enhance our position here.”