From 2nd Class to World Class in 24 Months: How Air Mauritius Achieved the Skytrax “4 Star” Rating

By: Ron Kaufman

Two years ago the national airline of Mauritius was struggling with financial losses, poor customer service ratings, and low staff morale.

A new CEO and dedicated top team launched a bold attempt to achieve profitability and an impeccable service reputation in just two years. Their “7 Step Plan” included a variety of financial, political and equipment measures. But the most audacious element by far was seeking to inspire 2,500 team members across all departments to leave behind old behaviors – and embrace a new commitment to “Stepping UP Together”.

This plan required the company to “go big and go fast”, reaching every team member in a short time with actionable service education from Uplifting Service, including train the trainer programs and service improvement workshops.

And it worked! Service improved for customers at every point of contact, including reservations, check-in, arrivals, and inside the aircraft during flight. Service also dramatically improved between teams, stations, and departments.

There are 147 “3 Star” airlines in the world today, but only a small number of airlines in the “4 Star” category, including Emirates, British Airways, and Etihad. For Air Mauritius to leap from difficult times to a Skytrax “4 Star” award in 24 months was a challenge that ultimately inspired every team member.

On July 9, 2014, Skytrax officially awarded Air Mauritius this coveted “4 Star” status, and named Air Mauritius among the “Top 10 Most Improved Airlines” of the year.

Ron Kaufman was on hand to participate in the team’s celebrations. In this interview with the airline’s CEO, Andre Viljoen, he takes you behind the scenes of this extraordinary success, with a peek into the future as the national airline of Mauritius takes the next step UP.

Air Mauritius CEO Andre Viljoen and EVP Customer Experience Donald Payen