South African Airways (SAA) has added capacity on its Mauritius route, with the introduction of a bigger aircraft, an Airbus A330-200 to this popular and growing destination.
Effective 1 October 2016, the airline will use an Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the route, which adds extra capacity of 200 seats per week and offers customers an improved in-flight product. This aircraft will operate flights SA190/SA191 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays to cater for the increase in demand to this popular island destination.
SAA’s double-daily schedule to Mauritius, which currently operates on four days of the week (Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) will remain in effect – totalling eleven flights per week. The current aircraft mix of Boeing B737-800s and Airbus A320-200s, the latest arrival in the SAA fleet, will continue to service the route for the remaining scheduled flights each week.
SAA has been flying to Mauritius for more than 50 years, non-stop since 1957, and the route was one of SAA’s first African destinations. Today Mauritius ranks as one of the top performers when it comes to growth and revenue earning.
“The Mauritius route is going from strength to strength and we still experience growing demand, both from the continent and internationally. Mauritius is a popular destination for many South Africans with more than 100, 000 passengers travelling there every year.
“Improving our product offering on this route holds strategic commercial value for the business and forms part of the impetus of the airline’s Long-Term Turnaround Strategy (LTTS),” says Menon Ramasawmy, SAA Manager Mauritius and Indian Ocean Islands.
The A330-200s offers 222 seats with 36 in Business Class and 186 in Economy. Business Class passengers will have the opportunity to relax on the A330-200 flat bed. For in-flight entertainment, customers can enjoy a wide selection of the latest blockbuster movies, a wide range of music channels, and games. Every seat has its own screen: Business Class has 12-inch screens and Economy Class has 10-inch screens.
Business Class customers have laptop power points at each seat. SAA also offers high quality, noise cancellation headsets in Business Class on all aircraft types, which will improve the quality of customers’ in-flight entertainment experience.
“SAA remains a strong strategic partner in developing West-East traffic, pulling passengers from South and North America as well as Africa to Mauritius. We connect Mauritians with the rest of the world. Mauritius is an easy and comfortable four hour flight from Johannesburg so, once travellers have decided on a visit to South Africa, they can add a trip to Mauritius for a relaxing beach holiday,” says Ramasawmy.
Mauritius remains one of the fastest growing economies on the continent with consistent demand-side growth in both business and leisure travel. Load factors on the route continue to perform positively with growing trade and economic development driving business travel outside of traditional seasonal leisure trips.
SAA serves as patron to the South African Chamber of Commerce in Mauritius to further advance its business community engagement. The airline has seen an increase in business related travel between the two countries due to growing interest by Mauritian firms to prospect in emerging African countries and a favourable Rupee/Rand exchange rate, which has led to a major increase in importation of goods from South Africa.
The South African Horse Racing race is famous on the Mauritian calendar and well attended by horseracing patrons. SAA offers daily cargo capacity on the route and has been a historical partner with the Mauritius Turf Club for the importation of racehorses to the island. This year SAA Cargo moved a record number of horses to Mauritius, a service the airline has provided for the past 20 years.
Customers may take two bags of 23 kgs each in Economy Class and two bags of 32 kgs each in Business Class.