Airfare Madness – Johannesburg to Mauritius.

One thing that I hold dear to my heart is the health of the Mauritian economy.

While we are trying our best to diversify, our main industries are still Sugar and Tourism.  So anything that hurts the tourist industry is hurting the economy.  Hold that thought.

Our foreign direct investment is better this year than last year, thanks to an increase in South African investment into this country.  So any business person coming to Mauritius will possibly add to this increasing pot, and anything that stops this from happening is hurting the economy.  Hold that thought too.

The special price in November for a return economy air ticket from Johannesburg to Mauritius is Rs17 500 or R4 873 which is a fair and reasonable price.  Still holding those thoughts?  Good.

If you want to fly to Mauritius in December this year and return early January 2013, a return economy airfare can set you back Rs57 012 or R15 877.  That’s quite a bit more than the November rate.  In fact, that is a hell of a lot more.  In fact, it is ridiculous!

So anyone who wants to combine a holiday with a bit of business over the festive season, or who wants a holiday that does not involve a hotel package is probably not going to come.

And that is how Air Mauritius continues to be at odds with the Mauritian Economy.

I am too angry to write any more.

Some hours later…

OK, I am still angry but I am more rational.  In order to ensure that this post is as accurate as possible, I have given the dates of the expensive flight, and wish to point out that there are lower and higher prices on other days, but all are nowhere near the special rate for November:

Depart Johannesburg December 15 and return January 7 – Rs 53 212.

Depart Johannesburg December 15 and return January 6 – Rs 80 367 (wow!)

Depart Johannesburg December 18 and return January 5 – Rs30 902 (cheapest for this period)

Current Special to Johannesburg from Mauritius (November) – Rs17 500.

And to keep it in perspective:

Depart Paris December 15 and return January 7 – Rs 68 749 (about 3 times the distance)

Depart Paris December 15 and return January 4 – Rs 80 589 (most expensive)

Depart Paris December 14 and return January 9 – Rs 48 924 (cheapest for this period)

Current Special to Paris from Mauritius return (25 Nov to 27 Dec) – Rs 30 000.

My conclusions:

There is a premium to pay for travel that starts before the festive season and ends after this period. That is to be expected as demand is high, but there is a difference between a premium and extortion.

That the flights from South Africa are subsidising the flights from elsewhere.  Even if one takes into account that longer flights are cheaper per km than shorter flights, I can’t believe that a four hour flight costs nearly the same as a twelve hour flight.

That if Air Mauritius continues to damage the country’s economy, then it is time the country removed the Air Mauritius / SAA duopoly, and allowed competition.




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