Air Mauritius A340-300E Business Class

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Background

Air Mauritius currently flies to South Africa and Kenya, and enjoys codeshare arrangements with Kenya Airways and South African Airways. But, 2012 has already seen the Durban route suspended (to be serviced on a daily basis via Johannesburg). However, the following international destinations will be reinforced: Paris, London, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Perth, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, Antananarivo, St Denis, St Pierre and Rodrigues.

Check-In

My personal gripe with O.R. Tambo International Airport is that there aren’t sufficient lifts wide enough to accommodate golf clubs laid flat on a luggage trolley. A small thing, but if you are connecting flights and find yourself loading and unloading luggage, it can get quite tiresome to have to find a lift with doors wide enough to take a single trolley with bags and golf clubs. For some reason, the majority of lifts at ORT just aren’t wide enough. Check-in for Air Mauritius is in Terminal B (Domestic Departures), and it’s just a short walk to the security check point. We queued in the Business Class queue, but there wasn’t much point to that, with Economy Class passengers directed to use the counter, anyway. Otherwise, check-in and negotiating security and immigration were seamless.

Lounge

Air Mauritius shares with Air France-KLM and their lounge is a quiet space, with just about all you need from an airport lounge. On offer: quick Wi-Fi, funky airline-type seats, flat-screen TVs with news channels playing, newspapers and magazines, showers, PC terminals, and a good selection of food and drink, including fresh pastries and rather tasty quiches.

Boarding and Seat

Boarding was approximately 40 minutes late and we eventually took off 35 minutes late. We were informed over the intercom on the aircraft that there was a “technical defect” – words I don’t think should ever be used when communicating an aeroplane fault to passengers. Fortunately, I’m not a squeamish flyer, but I’m sure that’s not the case for everyone. With regards the seat, I was impressed with the Business Class legroom on the Airbus A340-300E, which had 34 Business Class seats (with 2-2-2 configuration) and 264 in Economy. It wasn’t a completely lie-flat seat (approximately 140 degrees), but comfortable enough for both sitting and grabbing a couple of hours’ sleep.

The Flight

Besides the late take-off, the four-hour flight was uneventful. The in-flight entertainment was not very extensive, with a selection of movies all starting at the same time – so, not on demand. I was impressed with my in-flight meal, which was a starter of roasted duck breast with cranberry sauce, a main of honey-roasted turkey, and a dessert of chocolate brownie wedge cake. The other options were as follows: starters – asparagus spears, baby marrow and mixed pepper batons; main – prawn curry and grilled marinated lamb loin with herbs. My water could have been colder and accompanied by ice. Nonetheless, the food was delicious – I would also recommend trying the Mauritian Vanilla Tea. Altogether, the service in Business Class was good and the flight comfortable.

Arrival

We landed approximately half an hour late, but disembarking was very quick, and immigration was negotiated with little fuss. Further to that, our luggage arrived promptly and we were quickly out of the airport and onto our shuttle vehicle.

Verdict

Besides the late boarding and take-off, an enjoyable experience, with good food, service and a comfortable seat, which was more than sufficient for a four-hour flight. A complete lie-flat seat may be the Business Class expectation if on a long-haul flight. Also, I think their communication with passengers could be improved, in terms of the boarding and take-off process.

Contact
Web:
airmauritius.com

Dylan Rogers

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