AIR AUSTRAL PLANS FLEET EXPANSION WITH TWO MORE B777-300ER’S
(Posted 20th March 2015)
Reunion’s home airline Air Austral will in late 2016 take delivery of two more Boeing B777-300ER aircraft, acquired through a lease agreement with the Air Lease Corporation ALC. The announcement was made yesterday by ALC and is yet to be confirmed by Air Austral.
The airline presently operates a fleet of eight aircraft, among them one B777-200LR and three B777-300ER for long haul flights to such destinations like Bangkok, Chennai, Sydney but also Paris while their two B737-800’s and ATR 72’s are used to fly to Madagascar, South Africa, the Comoros, Mayotte, Mauritius and the Seychelles.
Flights to China are planned in conjunction with Air Madagascar under a code share arrangements as reported here a while ago but no date has been set yet when and where to such a service will start.
China, as well as India – and previously already South Africa – are subject to special Visa exemptions which allow their citizens to travel to Reunion for holidays and while certain conditionalities must be observed, for instance do approved travel agencies and DMC’s at both ends have to be involved, has the Visa waiver prompted a sharp increase in visitor numbers.
Air Austral had a few years ago ordered two Airbus A380 aircraft to be used on the route between St. Denis’ Roland Garros International Airport and Paris CDG but the order was eventually shelved, leading to an ongoing dispute with Airbus. The two additional Boeing’s will very likely be used to expand destinations and cater for China flights and additional frequencies to France, from where most of the island’s visitors presently originate. For additional information about Air Austral click on www.air-austral.com