SCHIPHOL - Schiphol Airport now serves as the second European hub for Air Mauritius. An Airbus A340-300 of the airline took the wheels on the ground in the Netherlands for the first time and flies twice a week to the tropical island.
Mauritius has been approached by KLM since October last year with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, but partner Air Mauritius is now taking over. Initially, flights take place every Monday and Friday, but in the peak months of July and August there is a third flight per week.
"Due to our close cooperation with Air France-KLM, Schiphol is our second European hub", says CEO Soman Appavou. Air Mauritius has been providing connections to Paris from Charles de Gaulle since 1998 through the cooperation with Air France, and is now drilling the Scandinavian and Eastern European market with KLM via Schiphol. In addition, Dutch travelers can, if they so wish, make use of both European hubs by combining Schiphol and Paris on the outbound and return flights.
Focus on tourism
The Airbus A340-300s from Air Mauritius have 28 seats in Business and 264 in Economy Class. "We are mainly targeting tourist travelers," said Prem Sewpaul, Vice President Communications and Corporate Affairs. "More than eighty percent of our travelers are doing Mauritius for a vacation."
Tourism is the lifeblood of Mauritius, known for its natural beauty both above and below water. The Netherlands has, due to the short-lived domination of the island in the sixteenth century and the fact that Mauritius is named after Maurits van Oranje, also, according to Sewpaul, a historical link with Mauritius.
The hotels on the island are mainly aimed at travelers who love luxury, but since the crisis of 2008 the offer has been broadened and three and four star hotels have now been created, in addition to private accommodation. "This makes Mauritius accessible to a broad target group, but it retains its luxurious appearance."
The flight to Mauritius takes about twelve hours and is carried out non-stop. The first flight was received at Schiphol Airport with a water rating from the fire brigade.