Page 10 - Mauritian Overseas Gazette 1
P. 10

UK Mauritians’ Gazette December 2017
          Air Mauritius 1967 to 2017
  A message from the airline’s management - June 2017
Our airline was incorporated on the 14th of June 1967, just a few months before Mauri- tius became independent. Our assigned mission was to bridge the country to the world and accompany its social and economic development while we remain financially au- tonomous. We have been faithful to this mission for half a century now.
Today, Air Mauritius is one of the largest companies in the island, employing around 3,000 Mauritians. Our network covers 25 direct destinations and we serve more than one hundred via hubs on four continents.
Our service reflects the Mauritian sense of hospitality and has been rated 4 star by Sky- trax. Every year we carry around 1.5 million passengers representing nearly half of the
passenger traffic to and from Mauritius. Moreover, every year we carry 32 tons of cargo in and out of Mauritius.
This year we will take delivery of our first brand new A350—900 XWB which will be- come our flagship aircraft. It is part of an order for 8 new aircraft. In 2018, we will also upgrade the cabin products on all our aircrafts with new seats, new inflight entertainment systems and on-board Wi-Fi.
Now, as we celebrate our 50 years of dedicated service, we eagerly look to the future as we pursue our journey and write the new chapters of our history together with our part- ners and valued customers.
  In the June message above Air Mauritius’ management announced that the airline “will this year take delivery of its first new A350-900 XWB which will become our new flag- ship aircraft.” Air Mauritius actually took possesion of its two new acquisions, Le Morrne Brabant landed at SSR Airport on 24 october and the Pieter Both on 26 November.
  The Key Figures in the Cre- ation of Air Mauritius: Three Persons must be remembered
Air Mauritius was in fact created in 1967. An airline for Mauritius, what a preposterous idea for a country with a population of just over half a miliion people, a tiny island in the throes of great economic crisis, with severe unemploy- ment and an explosing population, How could such a project be viable with such a small poulation, with the few people able to go abroad travelling by ship on the Messageries Mar- itimes which was much and much cheaper? Air travel was a luxury for the wealthy and high-income bracket people. Overseas visitors to the island were small in numbers to oc- cupy a few hotels. The Tourist industry was yet to be born.
All the same, Air Mauritius itself was born out of the vision of PM Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (SSR), He talked of his dream to his friend Amédée (Dédé) Maingard, a senior partner and Board Director of the Rogers Group of Companies, a man of
great calibre and high stature, an entrepreneur par excellence with capital. Himself a man of vision, he immediately saw the potential and possiblities of such a venture. Creating an airline without any plane, and worse without money to buy any, this was a dish that Mr Maingard relished on his plate as a man of ac- tion, He set about creating Air Mauritius from zero. SSR wanted the airline to be known as Air Maurice. But two other Mauri- tians, identical twin brothers, Sydney and O’Brien Davis, had al- ready appropriated themselves of this name as their trade mark. So SSR and Dédé Maingard had to content thtemselves with the name of Air Mauritus which, it must be admitted, did not sound great then in French and Creole speaking Mauritius..
Well, in a nutshell, that was the situation: A national airline conceived by PM SSR and put into executiion by action man Amédée Maingard. So, the creator of Air Mauritius, as we know it, was created by Mr Maingard whose bust is to be found outi- side Rogers House on the JFK Street. It may be advisable that this bust should now be brought to the front of the Air Mauritius Tower on the same street. If not the same, at least another one be povided.
Well, we say above that three persons must be remembered at
this juncture when the airline commemorates 50 years of its exis- tence. We have mentioned SSR on whom much will be said in our next issues commerating the 50th anniversary of the Mauri- tius itself as a soverign nation on 12 March 2018.
In our next edition we propose to write a few word on Amédée Maingard, the man who actually created Air Mauritius. But what about The Third Man (not to confuse with Orson Welles’ film), the man who actually built up the structure and the administra- tion for such an organisation to emerge from its eggshell to grow into a giant Paille-en-Queue to fly over all oceans to distant des- tinations. The Third Man is Sir Harry Tirvegadum. Whatever people may think of him we have to give him his due. To my knowkedge, without any airplanes and without any passenger service, the company started with only two men on the ground. The airline’s message above indicates that the Company has now a personnel of some three thousand employees on the ground in the country.
Read Sir Harry Tirvengadum story on Page 12 and on Page 16 MN as a partner of long standing.
Peter Chellen

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