Air Mauritius may increase frequency from Chennai, Bangalore

Chennai, Aug 27: With the growing number of Indians visiting Mauritius, the island nation's airline Air Mauritius plans to increase its flight frequency out of Chennai and Bangalore, a senior official said Wednesday.

"We may increase the flight frequency from Chennai and Bangalore possibly from next May onwards from the current once a week," Vinith G, manager-India &Couth Asian Sub-Continent, told IANS here.

According to him, Hyderabad and Kolkata offer good potential but the traffic load is not sufficient to fill up its A330 aircraft.

Currently the 461 million euro-revenue Air Mauritius connects Mauritius with Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai.

Agreeing that Air Mauritius enjoys monopoly in direct flights to Mauritius, Vinith said: "On their return journey, people go to Dubai first. From Dubai they come back to India."

He said the Dubai-based Emirates Airlines offer stiff competition to Air Mauritius in carrying Indians back home.

According to him, the annual load factor for Air Mauritius out of India is around 82 percent.

He said the 24 business class seats are used by corporate travellers flying on their company's expenses.

"Indians fly economy class when they bear the flight cost and business class on official trips," he said.

"The belly cargo space is also utilised fully. The belly cargo capacity is around 12 tonnes. The cargo space gets filled with perishables, textiles, medicines and others items," Vinith said.

According to the airlines annual report, Air Mauritius has a cooperative agreement with Air India.

The cooperation between Air India and Air Mauritius is in the form of a soft block of 16 seats on all the flights between Mauritius and India.

"Air India and Air Mauritius are currently working towards enhancing the present cooperation. This entails evolving into a free flow codeshare and its scope will also cover domestic codeshare in India.

"The approval process for Air Mauritius to obtain domestic codeshare rights in India has already been initiated," states the annual report.

The Mauritius Tourism Development Board is targeting to attract around 60,000 Indians to visit the island nation in 2014 as against the last year number of around 58,000.


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