Air Mauritius CEO Suspended Over Graft Allegations

The CEO and CFO of Air Mauritius have been suspended pending an investigation of allegations that the pair accepted a hotel stay in Paris from one of the airline’s suppliers.

Krešimir Kučko, who over the past decade had served as CEO of Croatia Airlines and of Gulf Air, only took on the Air Mauritius CEO job in December. And the story strikes me as a bit… weird?

  • Mauritius has one of the best business environments in Africa, but Air Mauritius is a government-controlled enterprise. There’s political jockeying over whom should run the airline.

  • Can it really be so cheap to bribe a long-time airline CEO? Or is it just a case of top airline leadership being careless? They shouldn’t leave themselves so open, considering the environment they’re in. Why give opponents ammunition?

Air Mauritius Business Class

There’s a history of corruption at the national carrier. The Caisse Noire Affair scandal at the airline involved twenty years of payments from an illicit Swiss bank account to airline officials, journalists and politicians and financed political newspapers, electoral campaigns, and luxuries for executives. Whistleblowers were sacked by airline management.

Bribery is almost de rigueur in certain parts of the airline industry. Airbus reportedly bribed top Canadian officials in the 1990s in exchange for Air Canada ordering its aircraft. And they paid around $4 billion in penalties over the past few years to settle bribery allegations. That’s simply how business is done in parts of the world, but it’s deemed unacceptable for businesses based in Europe and the United States (and a tool for ousting rivals in Africa).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Bribery of Canadian officials – wow – would have figured Canada was the least likely to have that in corporate related world. construction world a whole other matter up there…and very ‘un canadian’ feeling

  2. ” That’s simply how business is done in parts of the world, but it’s deemed unacceptable for businesses based in Europe and the United States.”
    It no longer holds true today if you follow the reputable news. It is all semantics under the pretext of bribery and corruption. Look at all three branches of governments that have been embroiled in scandals in the past few years. We can longer preach the world about democracy and civil rights if we look ourselves in the mirror and acknowledge that we are not what we were decades ago. We live in the most litigious and violent society among the developed countries. Yet, there are many readers who continue asking if it is safe to travel to certain country or city in the world. Other western countries face the same dilemmas and scrutiny as well.

Comments are closed.