Breaking: Air Mauritius Placed Into Administration

The current crisis in the aviation industry seems to have suddenly caught up with several airlines. As of…

Breaking: Air Mauritius Placed Into Administration

The current crisis in the aviation industry seems to have suddenly caught up with several airlines. As of today, Mauritian airline Air Mauritius has been placed into administration. The airline’s board came to a decision following “a complete erosion of the company’s revenue base.” 

Air Mauritius has been placed into voluntary administration. Photo: Getty Images

Air Mauritius has become the second airline to enter administration proceedings in as many days voluntarily. Yesterday Australian carrier Virgin Australia also entered voluntary administration caused by the current crisis. It looks as though other airlines could also suffer similar fates before the crisis is over.

Entering voluntary administration

According to the letter issued by the Air Mauritius board of directors, the African airline has been placed into voluntary administration. This action has been taken to safeguard the airline, given the current situation. According to the letter, Mr. A. Sattar Hajee Abdoula, FCA, and Mr. Arvindsingh K. Gokhool, FCCA of Grant Thornton have been appointed as the airline’s administrators.

Air Mauritius, Administration, Voluntary administration
The airline has attributed its decision to the current crisis affecting the global aviation industry. Photo: Airbus

The administration proceedings have come as a direct result of the current situation being faced by the aviation industry as a whole. In its letter, the airline stated that its entire revenue base had been eroded. The erosion has been caused by a decrease in demand tied to many different travel bans enacted by separate national governments. The airline believes that demand will not begin to return until the end of 2020.

Who is Air Mauritius?

Air Mauritius was formed in 1967 as a joint venture between Air France, BOAC (the British Airways predecessor), and the Mauritian government. However, the African airline didn’t begin to operate services until half a decade later in 1972. A year later, the airline started services to London via Nairobi with a Vickers VC10. This was upgraded two years later to a Boeing 707.

According to data from Planespotters, the airline’s current fleet consists of 13 aircraft:

  • 3x ATRs;
  • 2x Airbus A319;
  • 4x Airbus A330;
  • 2x Airbus A340;
  • 2x Airbus A350s.

Also, South African Airways has leased two Airbus A350s from Air Mauritius. These aircraft are quite new, with both under half a year old. However, South African Airways’ future also currently doesn’t look bright. Two of the airline’s Airbus A330 aircraft are relatively new A330neos with an average age of 1 year each. In total, the airline’s average fleet age is 11.3 years.

SAA Airbus A350 Aircraft
Two of South African Airways’ Airbus A350s are leased from Air Mauritius. Photo: South African Airways

Air Mauritius is not alone

Air Mauritius is not alone in entering administration proceedings. Just yesterday, Virgin Australia also entered voluntary administration. Virgin was also tipped over the edge by the current pandemic-induced crisis.

Meanwhile, the future isn’t looking too rosy for South African Airways, who lease two of Air Mauritius’ Airbus A350s. The airline has now been cut off from government support. Additionally, last weekend we reported that it would lay off all of its staff by the end of March.

What are your thoughts about Air Mauritius entering voluntary administration proceedings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Why Did Airbus Cancel The Production Of The A310?

The A310 was the smaller, longer-range successor to the original A300, which served to put Airbus on the…

Why Did Airbus Cancel The Production Of The A310?

The A310 was the smaller, longer-range successor to the original A300, which served to put Airbus on the map. Between the two models, they paved the way for Airbus to become a true competitor to Boeing. But after 15 years, Airbus ended production of the A310, turning to larger widebodies such as the A330 and A340 for its long-haul products. Was it too hasty in shelving this small, long-range widebody?

The A310 was produced for 15 years from 1983. Photo: Adrian Pingstone via Wikimedia

The A310 – the original midsize aircraft

The widebody A310 was built on the success of its forerunner, the A300. It had a lot to live up to; the A300 was the first twin-engine widebody in the world and the first ETOPS-compliant aircraft too. It sold more than 800 units and was seen as a high-performance option for medium- to long-range routes.

However, for some airlines, the A300 was just a little too big. Some operators just didn’t have the traffic to justify the capacity, while others desired increased frequencies over capacity. And so, work began on its little brother, the A300B1. Capacity would be reduced from the 210 – 250 passengers down to 220 passengers or less. This would come with a range boost of almost 2,000km over the A300-600.

In a move that was to become typical of Airbus and its future products, the A300 and A310 introduced the concept of commonality. Pilots could easily cross qualify between the models, with just one day of training required. Maintenance and tooling was also easily shared, making it easy for airlines to run both models with limited additional expense.

A310 first flight
The A310-200 was the first model produced. Photo: Airbus

Over the years, Airbus developed six variants of the A310. The first was the -200, a medium-range version, which was followed by the -300, a longer-range version, which soon became the standard. The shorter -100 version was never developed due to low demand. As well as these, it developed the -200C and -300C, convertible passenger/cargo aircraft, and the -200F/300F, full freighter versions. The military version A310 MRT/MRTT is an aftermarket conversion.

Over the 15 years it was in production, the A330 sold 225 units. But, in 1998, Airbus ended the production of the type. Why did it stop?

Ending production

In comparison to the way the A300 had sold, sales for the A310 were relatively low. From 1983 to 1993, around 20 aircraft a year were delivered. Most of those deliveries were fulfilling orders placed before the plane entered service. However, in 1994, the manufacturer had its first year with zero orders for the type.

From then on, interest was sluggish, and Airbus reduced its production rate, so it was delivering just two aircraft a year. Towards the end of the 90s, airlines were increasingly ordering the newer and more advanced A330 over its older sibling, and in 1998 the manufacturer finally pulled the plug.

225 A310s were delivered in total. Photo: Airbus

The A300 and A310 were instrumental in Airbus establishing itself as a competitor to Boeing. Both jets paved the way for the European company’s development of more ambitious types, such as the A320 and A330/A340 families. But was it too hasty in shelving the A310?

Before its time?

Back in the 90s, when sales for the A310 were drying up, airlines were mainly operating on hub and spoke models. Emirates was beginning to scale up, and the idea of flying into a vast airport to connect on to where you wanted to go was considered to be the only way to fly.

Since then, things have changed. Airlines today are looking much more at point to point models, something which has sealed the fate of big aircraft like the A380 and Boeing 747. As such, what the world needs now is a small widebody with a long-range in the 200 – 250 passenger sphere. Doesn’t that sound a little familiar?

797 Concept
Could the A310 have been the NMA the industry now wants? Photo: DJ’s Aviation

Eyes have been on Boeing for many years, waiting for an announcement of the New Midsize Airplane (NMA), affectionately dubbed the 797. While it now looks like the entire project will be shelved in favor of a new small airplane to replace the beleaguered MAX, Airbus has been sitting on a solution all along.

The A300 and A310 both tick many boxes of the NMA requirements. The capacity is right; the range, particularly of the A310, is good. All they need to fix is the efficiency. With new ‘neo’ technology on board, the A310 could easily become the NMA that airlines want. However, there are currently no plans to restart production, or to neo-ize the original concept.

What do you think? Should Airbus bring the A310 back in a neo version? Let us know in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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