Air Mauritius’ Plan for Increased Profitability through Service Excellence

By: Ron Kaufman
Ron Kaufman (center) with Andre Viljoen, CEO, and Dass Thomas, Chairman of the Board or Air Mauritius

Ron Kaufman (center) with Andre Viljoen, CEO, and Dass Thomas, Chairman of the Board or Air Mauritius

Air Mauritius is successfully executing a 7 Step Plan for increased profitability through service excellence

Ron Kaufman recognized as the world’s leading motivational speaker in the customer service field, was invited to Mauritius by the national airline, Air Mauritius, to lead a work shop on Tuesday. Executives and CEO’s of many of the top companies were present for the event, held at the Swami Vivekananda International convention Centre.

Kaufman is the author behind the best-selling book Uplifting Service, which soared on the New York Times best seller list. He is also the founder of up your service a company globally recognized for its expertise in customer service culture. Publishers Weekly recently referred to Kaufman’s “relentlessly positive attitude and focus on creating value for others” as “refreshing in today’s economic climate.”

His advice to Mauritius, shared at the workshop was that the country needs to take advantage of the attributes that are unique to the destination, namely the famous Mauritian hospitality. Since the tourism sector is becoming more and more competitive, with countries that previously were not considered holiday destinations attempting to grab a piece of the cake, the ability to offer quality service is what will determine whether our tourism industry sinks or swims, according to Kaufman.

Since the national airline introduced its “7 Step Plan” for recovering profitability and securing long term business sustainability in 2012, it has been on the right path, its CEO Andre Viljoen, said in his address. “We have achieved a lot this year and started to reap the benefits of the decisive actions that we have been taking under the 7 Step Plan. The financial results of the last quarter clearly indicated that we are on the path of recovery and sustainability.”

For the third quarter of the financial year 2013/14 Air Mauritius posted positive result of 8.6 million Euros (RS 357 million) resulting in a return profitability for the first nine months of the financial year for the first time in three years. You will recall, for instance, the first 9 months of the financial year 2011/12, when Air Mauritius posted losses of 22.2 million Euros (RS 925 million). Among the initiatives the national airline took to reverse the situation was to complete a companywide training program designed by Ron Kaufman.

Donald Payen, Executive vice president/customer experience, ground and in-flight services at Air Mauritius, shared the secrets of the company’s 7 Step Plan the first steps are network concentration and fleet realization, reinvigorating commercial and revenue management and relentless cost reduction and cash improvement. These to be followed by efforts at maintaining and selling assets, introducing new generation aircraft, improving service quality and developing human capital. Step 6 in the Plan is improving service quality, an especially vital part of the whole process, according to the national airlines management.

Among the initiatives Air Mauritius has taken to improve service quality since Kaufman entered the picture was to an update of the in-flight entertainment system. The national airline now plans to improve the cabin experience by introducing new seat covers, more comfortable seat cushions, upgraded blankets, pillows, toiletries, give away and wider range of magazines in both travel classes. “This is just the start of a journey that aims at evolving our core product and making it an excellent reflection of the tourist destination we proudly serve,” Andre Viljoen said.