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By Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Uganda | Aug 11, 2012 (eTN) - Air Mauritius announced a slightly reduced loss from last year for quarter 1 of 10.4 million euros, compared to 11.9 million euros in 2011. Airline sources blamed, in particular, the change in value between the euro and the US dollar for the magnitude of the loss, which according to media statements, could have been some 8 million euros less, had it not been for the unfavorable currency developments during the period in review. Other factors, however, remain the same as last year, a continuously soft core market from Europe for travel to Mauritius, as well as higher fuel cost for much of the period under review. Increased competition through, in particular, Gulf airlines though did not seem to have affected the load factors too much, as passenger numbers in Q1 compared to 2011 appear to have gone up by 7.4 percent, with revenues, in fact, rising by 12.5 percent - a new record with 104.5 million euros. While operating expenses rose by 9.7 percent or 9.6 million euros, it still left a net positive balance for Air Mauritius. The ongoing restructuring and cost-cutting program, according to a source from Port Louis, also remains on track and combined with a recently-launched customer service initiative should, according to the source, show better financial results for Q2 and the rest of the financial year by further reducing the airline's losses incurred in recent years. Source: Eturbonews.com
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