Flag carrier Air Mauritius will introduce two Airbus A330-900 New Engine Option (neo) aircrafts, the Aapravasi Ghat and the Chagos Archipelago, to its fleet by the end of this year. As part of the final phase of test flights leading to the Type Certification of its latest mid-size wide body airliner, Airbus flew its brand new A330neo to Mauritius for the first time.
The aircraft, an A330-900, painted in the livery of launch operator TAP Air Portugal, landed at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport on 30 June 2018. This stopover is part of the route proving campaign taking place around the world designed to demonstrate to aviation authorities its compatibility with airports and readiness for airline operations. This trip marks the A330neo's first time in Africa.
The acquisition will accelerate the fleet renewal programme of the national airline with another pair of state-of-the-art aircrafts. The A330-900 neo aircraft, which has been officially launched in July 2014, is powered by two new generation Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines. The aircraft is also equipped with a new cabin interior design, high-span wings and sharklets as well as new systems. It consumes at least 20% less fuel as compared to the current A340-300 enhanced aircraft. The A330-900 aircraft will have a similar cabin layout as the A350-900 aircraft and will be configured in a two class layout with 291 seats, namely 28 business and 263 economy class seats, with full-flat seats in business class, new seats in economy, new inflight entertainment systems as well as onboard WiFi.
The new aircrafts will offer enhanced passenger experience and comfort, operating efficiencies and technological innovation and will also allow Air Mauritius to improve its products and competitiveness in the current dynamic and challenging market environment. The two aircraft will initially serve the medium haul routes of Guangzhou, Hong Kong, New Delhi and Perth. Moreover, based on its future fleet requirements, Air Mauritius is maintaining its order of two A350- 900 aircraft for 2019.
Air Mauritius will be the world's first airline to operate both the A330neo and the A350 XWB, the Airbus leading wide body family. Created in 1967, the national carrier currently operates a fleet of four A340-300, two A340-300E, two A330-200, two A319-100 and three ATR72-500. Air Mauritius presently flies to twenty-four destinations in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Indian Ocean.