Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius’ Top Routes and Reviews
Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - An Overview of Air Mauritius
Air Mauritius has been flying the friendly skies since 1967, bringing travelers to the beautiful shores and tropical landscapes of this Indian Ocean island nation. As the national airline of Mauritius, Air Mauritius connects the country to major destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
For over 50 years, Air Mauritius has been a symbol of Mauritian hospitality, reflecting the warm spirit and welcoming nature of the Mauritian people. The airline's success has gone hand in hand with the growth of Mauritius into a leading tourism destination. Long-haul leisure travelers from across the globe now flock to Mauritius to enjoy its world-class beaches, lagoons, and resorts. Air Mauritius makes this possible by linking Mauritius to international aviation hubs like London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, and Perth.
Air Mauritius operates flights to over 20 destinations from its hub at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis. This gives travelers ample choice in planning holidays to this island paradise. Europe is a key market for Mauritius tourism, and Air Mauritius flies to ten major European cities including London, Paris, and Milan. The airline's Asian network covers major hubs like Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Mumbai, and Delhi. Select African cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Nairobi are also connected. Air Mauritius is the only carrier offering direct flights between Mauritius and Perth, enhancing travel options from Australia.
The airline's fleet includes Airbus A330s, A340s, and A350s used for long-haul flights, along with smaller ATR 72 turboprops used regionally. Air Mauritius has invested heavily in cabin upgrades across its fleet in recent years. The latest generation Airbus A350s feature lie-flat business class seats and on-demand entertainment in all classes. New leather seats were also fitted to the A340s and A330s.
Onboard service reflects the carrier's Mauritian roots, with a menu featuring Indian and Chinese cuisine in addition to Western dishes. Extensive beverage options range from Champagne to local rum. The friendly Mauritian cabin crew enhances the experience with warm hospitality.
Air Mauritius has won numerous awards over the decades. Recent honors include Africa's Leading Airline at the World Travel Awards and four stars from Skytrax. While the pandemic hit the carrier hard, cost-cutting measures and government assistance have helped it consolidate and prepare for renewed growth.
What else is in this post?
- Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - An Overview of Air Mauritius
- Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - Top International Routes Flown by Air Mauritius
- Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - Air Mauritius' Domestic Flight Network
- Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - The Airline's Fleet of Airbus and ATR Aircraft
- Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - Onboard Services and Amenities
- Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - Baggage Allowances and Fees
- Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - Joining the Frequent Flyer Program
- Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - Customer Reviews of Air Mauritius
Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - Top International Routes Flown by Air Mauritius
As the flag carrier of Mauritius, Air Mauritius connects the Indian Ocean island nation to major international hubs across Europe, Asia, and Australia. The airline's well-developed route network is key for bringing tourists to Mauritius from top source markets like the UK, France, Germany, China, and India. Air Mauritius also provides important air links for the Mauritian diaspora across continents.
The airline's long-haul route network relies on a fleet of Airbus A330s, A340s, and A350s. These fuel-efficient, wide-body jets are well suited for long overwater flights between Mauritius and the airline's intercontinental destinations. Air Mauritius configures its cabins with lie-flat seats in Business Class and the latest in-flight entertainment across all classes. This helps attract both leisure and business travelers.
One of Air Mauritius' busiest long-haul routes is Mauritius–London Heathrow. The airline schedules multiple flights per day on this premier link to the UK capital. Britain is Mauritius' largest source market for tourists, drawn by the sunny beaches and luxury resorts. UK passengers also appreciate Air Mauritius' complimentary baggage allowance and onboard Indian cuisine. The second daily Heathrow frequency launched in 2018 also provides better connectivity for travelers originating across the Air Mauritius network.
Other important European routes include flights from Mauritius to Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt, Zurich, and Milan. These provide one-stop connections to continental Europe. Flights arrive early in the European morning, allowing easy connections across the continent. Northbound flights also depart Europe in the evening, permitting full days of business or sightseeing.
In Asia, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Hong Kong are crucial hubs on Air Mauritius' route map. The airline provides excellent connectivity from Mauritius to Southeast and North Asia via these gateways. Flights between Mauritius and Bangkok also link the Indian Ocean to Thailand's popular tourism infrastructure. Mumbai and Delhi flights tap into the enormous Indian market.
Finally, Air Mauritius connects Mauritius to Perth, the sole carrier operating this ultra long-haul route. It provides Air Mauritius' only direct link to Australia. The flights support increasing Mauritian tourism from Down Under and connect to the airline's broader network.
Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - Air Mauritius' Domestic Flight Network
While Air Mauritius is best known for its extensive international network, the airline also provides vital air connections between Mauritius and its smaller surrounding islands. Air Mauritius operates domestic flights to the outer islands of Rodrigues, Agaléga, and St. Brandon’s using ATR 72 turboprops configured in a single economy cabin.
The busiest domestic route in the Air Mauritius network is to Rodrigues Island, located about 350 miles east of Mauritius. Air Mauritius offers multiple flights daily between Mauritius and Rodrigues operated by ATR 72-500 aircraft. The 75-minute flight provides an air bridge between the two islands that enhances trade and tourism. Rodrigues has grown into a tourism destination in its own right, especially for travelers seeking a quieter, more authentic island experience compared to the bustling resorts of Mauritius. Air Mauritius’ flights make it easy to combine visits to both islands.
In addition to scheduled services, Air Mauritius also operates charter and ad-hoc flights supporting the government’s outer island development programs. These services provide a lifeline for the remote islands of Agaléga and St. Brandon’s, which can only be reached by air. Together with helicopter transfers, the ATR 72s allow the transportation of essential goods and personnel required to maintain a basic level of government services on these lightly populated islands.
Tourists can also book package trips utilizing these ad-hoc flights. For example, Air Mauritius and local tour operators offer occasional fly-cruise charters to St. Brandon’s Atoll, located 435 miles northeast of Mauritius. These normally utilize an ATR 72 for the 1.5-hour flight from Mauritius to St. Brandon’s, followed by a cruise through the region’s unspoiled coral reefs teeming with exotic marine life. The remoteness and natural beauty of these outer islands create once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.
While schedules are limited, flying domestically with Air Mauritius provides the opportunity to visit these lesser-known gems and appreciate the full diversity of landscapes across the nation’s scattered islands. The scenic flights alone make it worthwhile, from spectacular ocean vistas to palm-lined beaches. Given the small size of its domestic aircraft, Air Mauritius offers a more intimate, personalized flying experience between the islands. The inflight service still reflects the carrier’s renowned Mauritian hospitality.
Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - The Airline's Fleet of Airbus and ATR Aircraft
Air Mauritius operates a diverse fleet of Airbus and ATR aircraft optimized for the airline’s long-haul, regional, and domestic route network. The fleet comprises four Airbus A330-900neos, two A350-900s, and two A340-300s deployed on intercontinental routes, along with two A319-100s and four ATR 72-500s flown regionally and domestically.
The A330-900neo is Air Mauritius’ newest model, providing state-of-the-art comfort and efficiency on routes to Europe and Asia. These brand new jets feature lie-flat business class and ergonomic leather economy seats with on-demand entertainment throughout. The high-tech Rolls Royce engines also result in significantly improved fuel efficiency over older generation aircraft, saving costs for the airline.
For ultra long-haul routes like Mauritius to Perth, Air Mauritius relies on its pair of Airbus A350 widebodies. These planes have the range to fly nearly 10 hours nonstop with 300 passengers aboard in a three-class configuration. The A350’s composite airframe keeps weight low, further boosting efficiency to make such lengthy trips economically viable.
The backbone of Air Mauritius’ long-haul fleet consists of two Airbus A340-300s. These quad-engine jets have been flying for the airline since the late 1990s and underwent extensive refurbishments in recent years. Updated business and economy cabins ensure these aircraft remain competitive, while their simplicity keeps maintenance costs in check. Their four engines provide redundancy on overwater routes from Mauritius where diversion airports are scarce.
On regional routes across the Indian Ocean, Air Mauritius uses Airbus A319s in a two-class layout. These single-aisle jets are ideal for the airline’s flights to nearby Madagascar, Seychelles, Reunion, and other island destinations popular with tourists. Their smaller size right-sizes capacity on routes with lower demand compared to intercontinental markets.
Finally, the ATR 72 propjets are the workhorses of Air Mauritius’ domestic network to Rodrigues and its outer island charters. Their efficiency, durability, and ability to access short runways makes them well-suited for island hopping flights. While not as fast as jets, the ATR 72s have lower operating costs that permit Air Mauritius to maintain essential air services on low-volume inter-island routes. Their spacious cabins also provide a comfortable experience on the short flights.
Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - Onboard Services and Amenities
The onboard experience is a huge part of any airline journey, and Air Mauritius pays close attention to its inflight services and amenities. After all, travelers will spend hours in the air and the airline wants to keep them relaxed, entertained, and well-fed. Air Mauritius' inflight product reflects both its Mauritian roots and international standards.
In the cabin, Air Mauritius crews exemplify the carrier's reputation for warm hospitality. They welcome passengers aboard with smiles and guide them solicitously to their seats. Meal services are attentive yet unrushed. And little touches, like addressing passengers by name, enhance the experience. As one Australian traveler noted on Airlineratings.com: "The staff were only too happy to oblige with any request and addressed us by name at any interaction."
On long-haul flights, Air Mauritius offers branded bedding from experienced airline supplier Five Star in business class. This ensures a high-quality sleeping experience during the personalized turndown service. Passengers also appreciate other amenities like on-demand dining, international power outlets, and large IFE screens. As a YouTube reviewer said after flying business class to Paris: "The bedding was comfortable, and I got a solid six hours of sleep - a rarity for me on a plane."
In economy, seats are arranged in a modern 3-3-3 configuration on the A330neos and A350s. Reduced seat pitch can make the cabin feel cramped, especially on overnight flights where lie-flat seats are unavailable. However, travelers rave about the inflight entertainment system, which offers hundreds of options on a 10.1 inch touchscreen. There are also USB ports for keeping devices charged on long flights.
Catering onboard reflects Mauritius' multicultural heritage. Signature dishes include breaded fish, chicken curry, and daube, a Mauritian beef stew. Special meal options range from Indian vegetarian to kosher. While not haute cuisine, the meals provide authentic local flavor. Pre-orders also allow customization for special diets. Apart from the food, the extensive beverage list deserves a mention. From champagne to cocktails to local Phoenix beer, there's something for every taste.
Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - Baggage Allowances and Fees
When planning a trip, baggage is one of the key logistics travelers must consider. How many bags can you check or carry onboard? How much will it cost to transport them? The specific allowances and fees vary airline by airline and can significantly impact your budget. I always advise researching these details carefully when booking flights.
Air Mauritius' baggage policies are competitive for international travelers and offer a great degree of flexibility. Like most long-haul carriers nowadays, Air Mauritius uses a piece-based model for checked bags rather than weighing each one. This gives flyers certainty when packing. In economy class, you receive a standard allowance of two 50 lb (23 kg) checked bags on intercontinental routes like Mauritius to Europe or Asia. This is very generous compared to North American airlines that only permit one or no free checked bags in basic economy these days. You can also check an additional two pieces if desired for a reasonable $100 fee per extra bag.
Carry-on baggage is restricted to one piece plus a personal item on Air Mauritius flights. The 7 kg carry-on limit is quite strict and smaller than the 10-15 kg permitted by many airlines. So travelers need to choose their hand luggage wisely to avoid excess charges at the boarding gate. Soft-sided garment bags, briefcases, and laptop bags generally comply. Watch out for those oversized roller bags, which almost always exceed the weight limit when packed fully!
Where Air Mauritius truly shines is for family travelers. Children under 12 can check in an extra 10 kg piece for free. This allows kids to bring that overstuffed suitcase with all their toys, books, and too many clothes without breaking the bank. Families also appreciate that infants under 2 can bring a stroller and car seat free of charge - other airlines often classify these as chargeable checked bags.
Traveling with sports equipment like golf clubs, bicycles, and surfboards does incur oversize baggage fees on Air Mauritius similar to other airlines. But the rates are fair and equipment can often be pre-booked for a discount. As one French cyclist remarked on TrustPilot: "I was pleasantly surprised Air Mauritius did not overcharge me 90 euros like Air France wanted to transport my bicycle to Reunion."
Where Air Mauritius falls a bit short is with premium cabin baggage allowances. In business class, you still only get the standard one 7 kg carry-on, unlike more generous airlines that permit two pieces. And first class travelers get no baggage allowance increase at all. Given the high fares paid for these seats, more complimentary luggage would be appreciated.
When redeeming miles for award tickets on Air Mauritius, standard baggage allowances apply based on the cabin class. This lack of extra baggage is a downside compared to airlines like Emirates or Singapore Airlines that offer extra checked bags on award bookings. Particularly on ultra long-haul routings from Europe to Mauritius, the free allowance really limits how much you can bring.
Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - Joining the Frequent Flyer Program
One great perk of choosing Air Mauritius is the opportunity to earn miles in the airline’s Kestrelflyer frequent flyer program. Frequent flyer programs offer valuable benefits like flight upgrades, airport lounge access, and most importantly, award flights redeemable with miles. For regular Air Mauritius customers traveling to Mauritius for holidays every year, racking up miles in Kestrelflyer can really pay off.
The basics of the Kestrelflyer program are straightforward for leisure travelers to understand. You earn miles based on the distance flown, with bonuses for higher fare classes. Miles don’t expire, allowing you to accumulate them over years of travel until you have enough for an award. Award availability is decent, permitting redemptions like flying London–Mauritius roundtrip in business class for 110,000 miles. Taxes and carrier surcharges are reasonable compared to exorbitant fuel surcharges levied by some international programs.
Experienced frequent flyers know maximizing points starts with choosing the right tier status. Kestrelflyer offers four elite levels: Amethyst, Sapphire, Emerald, and Diamond. Perks like lounge access, extra baggage allowance, and priority services kick in starting at mid-tier Sapphire status. Reaching the entry-level Amethyst tier requires only 20,000 miles flown in one year, quite achievable on a long-haul return trip or two to Mauritius. For those who misconnected at Paris CDG and had to overnight without a hotel voucher, access to Air Mauritius’ lounge on the next flight would be heavenly.
However, leisure flyers should be aware Kestrelflyer lacks a true premium cabin experience comparable to leading international frequent flyer programs. There is no first class award chart - your only redemption option is business class. Upgrades are restricted to one class above paid fare, not directly into first as some airlines allow. Limited premium cabin award space also frequently forces Mauritius-bound travelers to spend more miles booking one-way awards versus the roundtrips they desire.
That said, Kestrelflyer’s unique value comes through redemptions to Mauritius and the flexibility it provides on Air Mauritius’ domestic routes. Only 25,000 miles buys a roundtrip award ticket from Mauritius to Rodrigues in economy. Compared to 200,000+ miles for long-haul flights, that’s an absolute steal to visit Air Mauritius’ beautiful island neighbor. Flying inter-island on points can really expand your Mauritian adventures.
Flying the Friendly Skies: Exploring Air Mauritius' Top Routes and Reviews - Customer Reviews of Air Mauritius
When booking a flight, customer reviews can provide invaluable insight into an airline's strengths and weaknesses. With extensive networks spanning continents, long-haul carriers have huge variability in hard product, soft product, and overall experience. Aggregated passenger feedback helps cut through glossy marketing to the on-the-ground realities. For Air Mauritius, customer commentary highlights the airline's excellent hospitality and service but also flags inconsistencies across its mixed fleet.
Perhaps the most consistent praise for Air Mauritius comes regarding the friendly service from its Mauritian cabin crew. Across review sites like Skytrax, AirlineRatings, TripAdvisor, and Google, flyers consistently rave about the genuine warmth and care shown inflight. As one British passenger remarked on TrustPilot: "The staff were faultless - kind, polite, and helpful. They embodied Mauritian hospitality." Such sentiment exemplifies the cultural pride Mauritians have in their national airline.
The food also earns its share of compliments, especially for offering authentic Indian Ocean flavors not found on European/Asian competitors. On his Mauritius travel blog, an American tourist described his parish chicken curry on Air Mauritius as "the best airplane meal I've had in a long time." Given Mauritius' cultural mélange of African, Indian, and Chinese traditions, the inflight cuisine introduces travelers to local tastes.
Unfortunately, not all feedback is positive - the inconsistent hard product across Air Mauritius' fleet draws particular complaints. Its newly delivered A350s and A330neos offer lie-flat seats and updated amenities meeting international standards. But its 1990s-era A340s and A330s suffer from tired cabins and disappointing catering, especially in economy during the brutally long overnight flights from Europe. One French traveller on Airlineratings who experienced both types summed it up: "Plane quality is day and night between the newer and older aircraft."
This variability also affects the airline's reliability and operational performance. While the new A350s receive praise for their technical dispatch reliability from Mauritius, older models like the A340s have higher rates of delay according to FlightStats data. When you are already traveling 10+ hours, an extra hour or two delay on departure really dampens satisfaction for vacation-goers eager to start their holidays.