After having been honoured by Skytrax with a four-star rating, Air Mauritius had proclaimed its intention of modernising its fleet. To fulfill this aim, the national airline company expressed its intention of making the acquisition of Airbus aircrafts. This decision of Air Mauritius has not pleased many though. The US embassy economic officer begrudgingly stated his disapproval…
Not everyone has rejoiced over the decision of Air Mauritius to renew its fleet of airplanes by adding in aircrafts from Airbus… Certainly not the US. Patrick Koucheravy, Economic Officer at the US embassy at Port-Louis, stated that they were disappointed that Air Mauritius preferred to do business with Airbus instead of Boeing. According to him, Boeing would have been the better option since Mauritius had already benefited greatly from the African Growth and Opportunity Act. He further added that the US aims to contribute to the growth of trade and investment in Africa. In line with this, Patrick Koucheravy is of the opinion that Air Mauritius should have bought aircrafts from Boeing, the latter being the best product on the market, according to his point of view, that is.
The decision of Air Mauritius triggered other such reactions. Vijay Makhan, the ex-secretary of foreign affairs, the “timing was inappropriate”, arguing that the work plan should have been based on a diplomatic platform.
Now, is this going to negatively impact the bilateral relationship shared between Mauritius and the US?
Rajiv Servansingh, an economist, claims that the Americans will not take reprisals against Mauritius as a consequence of the stance the airline company took. The latter had to take into consideration a number of specific technical criteria, the determination of which would have inevitably led to a winner and a loser anyway.