EMIRATES GETS APPROVAL TO FLY THE A380 TO MAURITIUS
(Posted 09th July 2013)
Information was just confirmed, at no other place than the Routes Africa meeting which just ended at Kampala’s lakeside resort and conference complex of Munyonyo, that Emirates has obtained regulatory approval to start operating the giant Airbus A380 to the island from the 16th of December this year.
Emirates had operated a one off flight to coincide with the independence anniversary of Mauritius this year, on which occasion a brand new A380 gate was opened at the main airport Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International.
At the time did Tim Clark, President and CEO of Emirates, already state the obvious, that his company would very much like to bring this aircraft type to Mauritius on a permanent basis, a move welcomed warmly by Mauritius’ private sector tourism stakeholders.
From details at hand it is understood that the current two flights with B777-300 with 364 seats in First, Business and Economy will be substituted by the A380, which in a three class configuration can uplift up to 496 passengers. This will add a further 264 seats a day on the route, which tourism stakeholders claim are needed to fill beds in existing and new resorts and turn the fortunes of Mauritius’ tourism around. Last year did the island end up second in overall arrivals for Indian Ocean islands, behind the Maledives, and with Sri Lanka’s arrivals also growing, stakeholders were worried that the island may lose further ground against its popular Indian Ocean rivals.
The flights between Dubai and Mauritius are codeshared with national airline Air Mauritius, arguably speeding up the regulatory approvals needed to introduce the larger plane. A major campaign will no doubt go underway ahead of the launch of the A380 flights, which will make Mauritius yet another destination which can be reached by the growing fleet of A380’s, 35 of which are now in service by Emirates. Watch this space for breaking and regular news from the Indian Ocean islands aviation sector.