Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Air Mauritius Business And First Class (Old Style)  
User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2716 posts, RR: 8
Posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 24244 times:

First Leg: MK943 Sydney to Frankfurt via Melbourne and Mauritius (SYD/MEL/MRU/FRA)
Scheduled Departure 7.40am
A340-300 3B-NBE 'Paille en Queue' Business Class

Second Leg: MK64 Mauritius to Frankfurt (MRU/FRA)
Scheduled Departure 8.10am
A340-300 3B-NAV 'Kestrel' First Class

Nb. This trip report has been posted for a second time  ashamed  so that previously large photo files could be reduced in size. Then recent A.net site maintenance trashed the photo links so here we go again. Apologies if you've read this before. Since this trip was taken, Air Mauritius have reconfigured their aircraft and the 'First Class' cabin no longer exists.

Check out an excellent Air Mauritius Trip Report that shows their current product here:

MK: Mauritius-Antananarivo (with Photos This Time) (by PieterBoth Jan 31 2010 in Trip Reports)


With many flights from Sydney to European destinations taking you typically through Bangkok, Singapore or KL, Air Mauritius offer an alternative (if only slightly longer) route for Australians to consider when traveling to Europe. It's not ideal to have to stop in Melbourne on the outbound leg, but it's only a short stop and the airfare more than compensates when compared with other Business Class fares.__MK use Air New Zealand's Business Class lounge at Sydney Kingsford Smith and it was virtually empty at 6.00am. The lounge has an excellent view from the western side of the terminal, across the tarmac to the control tower and main runway. On this particular morning, which was dark, cold and rain streaked, it provided an ideal vantage point from which to watch MK's MK942's arrival.

Food and beverage on offer in Air New Zealand's Business Class lounge is good quality and in plentiful supply. There's plenty of fresh fruit, cereals, and a reasonable selection of hot food. The lounge is tastefully restrained in its design with plenty of seating and excellent facilities.







3B-NBE Paille-en-Queue quietly slipped into view just minutes after the 6 am curfew and slowly taxied past the lounge to gate 2. Although due to depart at 7.40am, a problem was announced with the aircraft's de-icing equipment leading to a delay of some two and a half hours. So, a bit more time was spent in the upstairs lounge, rather than the slightly chaotic conditions of gate lounge 2 that morning. Still, that gave plenty of time for a bit more plane spotting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTLAaN8QLek

Air Mauritius have updated their fleet since this post was first uploaded. They now have new A340ER's and have re-fitted their existing fleet. The business class cabin shown is therefore now MK's previous product and while the seats were not the equivalent of other legacy carriers at the time, they were very comfortable, the cabin clean and well maintained.





Onboard, the reception from MK flight attendants was warm and friendly. Passengers were efficiently helped to stow bags and coats. Champagne, Orange Juice and water were immediately offered, prior to departure.

The short hop from Sydney to Melbourne takes around an hour, and with a light load, Paillle-en-Queue lifted gently and quickly into the air, climbing out over Botany Bay to the south. Service began soon afterwards, but with such a short a short run, it's just light refreshments - Hors d'Oeuvres and drinks.

Canapes



Melbourne's Air New Zealand business Class lounge is a little more modern than Sydney's, but awkwardly located underneath the terminal, looking out onto the ramp through baggage carts. Perhaps, not surprisingly, the focus is more internal than looking out onto the airfield.

3B-NBE - 'Paille en Queue' A340-300





Fully laden with fuel for the next leg to Mauritius, A340 'Paille-en-Queue' lifted ponderously off the ground, after a long take-off roll, and climbed gradually into the skies above Melbourne, soon banking west for the 8391km (9 hrs 14 minutes) haul to Mauritius. Despite the A340-300's slow climb rate, a subject of much discussion in A.net forums, these aircraft are exceptionally comfortable and very quiet.

Lunch was served soon after departure, starting with Smoked Salmon and Cajun Chicken entree followed by Snapper Gremolata and alternatives. The dishes that our party of three tried were all delicious. Drinks were kept topped up by the efficient cabin crew and meals are completed with a ritual small box of two handmade Mauritian chocolates. A nice touch is the availability of Mauritian Tea -- a vanilla infused brew.



Smoked Salmon and Cajun Chicken entree



Snapper Gremolata

Having always flown the more traditional routes though Asia to Europe, this flight, with its long over-water component, was something new. Soon after crossing the West Australian coastline, you become aware that it's a long, long way to the next landing strip. The image of our aircraft heading out over the vast emptiness of the Indian Ocean on the LCD screen seemed to make us look even more alone. I'm not really sure what the longest over-water route with nowhere to land actually is, but the west coast of Australia to Mauritius must be up there as one of the longer routes. Even though ETOPS makes twins as safe (if not statistically safer) than quad engined aircraft, there's something psychologically comforting about having a few more engines.


Nowhere to land

Midway of the Indian Ocean

We had strong headwinds on this flight and our indicated airspeed dropped considerably on a few occasions. A little more than half way, I took these shots.


Over the Indian

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydfxL6VtixU&feature=related

The remainder of the flight was smooth and uneventful, with our arrival at MRU just after nightfall. Passengers wishing to continue immediately to Europe connect with a flight straight through to Paris CDG.

Having a strong aversion to Charles de Gaulle airport at the best of times, and a sworn refusal to ever again willingly subject myself to a connection through CDG at summertime, there was no way any of our party would have chosen that option. As luck would have it, three days later, MK64 flies MRU / Frankfurt FRA -- this gave us the option of being closer to our final destination in the Netherlands and having a short break in Mauritius on the way. Besides, Mauritius sounds so exotic, you'd be crazy not to spend a few days there as a stop-over right?

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx33/stewmiketheglade/Air%20Mauritius/IMG_3504.jpg

Well yes, right. But, there's a few things to be aware of. MRU airport lies at the southern end of the island of Mauritius. This part of the island receives far greater rainfall and can often be windy. The north western side of the island is recommended for more stable weather and there are plenty of resorts around Grand Baie. However, there's only one road from the airport to the capital Port Louis and on to the north of the island. So, this means all transfers are always through the capital and the traffic jams can be gruesome.

Here are some images of the island.

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx33/stewmiketheglade/Air%20Mauritius/IMG_3506.jpg

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx33/stewmiketheglade/Air%20Mauritius/IMG_3563.jpg

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx33/stewmiketheglade/Air%20Mauritius/IMG_3540.jpg

In hindsight, I'd probably try one of the resorts closer to the airport next time. If you're staying longer than a couple of days, as our party had planned for our return journey to Australia, then definitely consider accommodation in the north.

MK64 Mauritius to Frankfurt (MRU/FRA)
Scheduled Departure 8.10am
A340-300 3B-NAV Kestrel First Class

In a bizarre twist of fate, Air Mauritius upgraded all three in our travel party to First class for the Mauritius / Frankfurt leg of our journey. Tickets had been booked about six months in advance and seating allocated for our SYD/MEL/MRU trip had been 4A, 4B and 5A. Our itinerary definitely had us allocated for 1A, 2A, and 2B on the MRU/FRA leg though. Having studied the seat plans of MK's A340 fleet, both new and old, it seemed impossible that these couldn't be first class seats. A query of the travel agent made the situation no more clear. Naturally, we all just hoped for the best, but secretly expected it to be a mistake that would result in seats being re-allocated upon check-in at MRU. Nothing of the sort happened.

Porters whisked our luggage straight up to the F check-in counter and boarding passes with the same seat allocation were duly produced. So, it was off to the lounge to kill the remaining time before departure.

3B-NAV A343 Kestrel stood at the gate, awaiting departure.



First Class cabin



MRU / FRA is 11 hrs 20 mins flying time, so with warm, humid conditions and a heavy aircraft, we all expected a long, laborious take off roll and the A343 delivered exactly that. After taxing to the very end of the runway and completing a 180 degree turn, Kestrel came to a complete stop a little short of the Piano Keys. The engines then spooled up, before the brakes were released, and we started to roll.

As you might expect, F cabin is a little quieter and as 'Kestrel's' nose wheel lifted off, there was a noticeable vibration and slight harmonic. We lifted slowly and then, very gently, the rate of climb began to feel more positive.

Here's a youtube clip of the climb out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao4UoZuoigw&feature=related

We banked to port and completed a 180 degree turn, providing a great view of the airport below.



The seats in first provided enormous legroom and were very comfortable. However, they didn't recline fully, or become beds, so those accustomed to legacy carrier F class might have been disappointed. Service from the cabin crew was personal, attentive and appropriately discreet.

Photo above - Passing Madagascar



Breakfast was soon served.





Needless to say, the views flying over the African continent are extraordinary.





The next meal service - Appetiser.Pink Lobster Tail with Shreaded Palm Heart. I'm afraid I didn't photograph the rest of the meal. I was enjoying the champagne too much!



Old style First Class Cabin:





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOy-BXkiPRU

Landing at FRA provided an opportunity to capture reverse thrust, bringing to an end a very memorable journey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8v8dzC_V4o


Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8541 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 24204 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Sigh! Brings back some lovely memories .... if you do return might I suggest staying somewhere down Flic en Flac , you avoid going anywhere near Port Louis though you still have the lesser nightmare of getting through Quatre Bornes on your way from the airport to the hotel . The third photo in Mauritius suggests to me that at some point you made it down that way or perhaps even to Tamarin as it looks like Mont du Rempart with the Trois Mammelles in the background ?

I saw that you mentioned you were reposting an old report , could I ask how old ? I lived in Mauritius for 10 months and had not heard of MK having had a first class up until now - does this date from a couple of years ago ?



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2716 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 24120 times:

Yes,

This trip took place in June 2007. At that time, Air Mauritius were in the process of phasing in their new product, which, I gather, is like a hybrid of business and first class. Their website was also like a hybrid at the time and it made it difficult to be certain exactly what you would actually receive when you stepped on the plane. The new seats certainly look far more modern.

You're quite right about the photos as well. We had just passed Flic en Flak when I took the photograph of the mountain shown. We'd been up to the lake in the mountain (where it poured) with the Indian temple - amazing!



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlinePieterBoth From Belgium, joined Jan 2010, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 23577 times:

Nice report! I'd also recommend the area around Le Morne in the south west, I love it there, plus it's out of the way of any of the major towns so not much traffic.

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
Needless to say, the views flying over the African continent are extraordinary.

Great shot of the desert there. I've got loads of photos over Africa, unfortunately non-digital when we used to go to Mauritius when I was a kid. I used to use up a whole 'film' before we even got to Mauritius  


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 23558 times:

Very impressive report with some stunning pictures. MK's catering looks excellent.

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
The north western side of the island is recommended for more stable weather and there are plenty of resorts around Grand Baie. However, there's only one road from the airport to the capital Port Louis and on to the north of the island. So, this means all transfers are always through the capital and the traffic jams can be gruesome.

Interesting to know!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8541 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23507 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
The north western side of the island is recommended for more stable weather and there are plenty of resorts around Grand Baie. However, there's only one road from the airport to the capital Port Louis and on to the north of the island. So, this means all transfers are always through the capital and the traffic jams can be gruesome.

Arrive in real style .... use a helicopter transfer from the airport - I am sure that by the time you converted the cost from MUR to EUR it would seem reasonable .... well , reasonable-ish  



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2716 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 23387 times:

Kiwiandrew...

You're talking my language!  bigthumbsup 

I once did that from Fiji to an outer island and the trip was breathtaking! It would definitely be worthwhile doing the same in Mauritius and Air Mauritius has a helicopter at their disposal too!

http://airmauritius.com/helicopter.htm



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineBPS3458 From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 561 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 23064 times:

Thanks for posting this "exotic" trip report. As I am always looking for alternatives when travelling from Australia to Europe may actually consider flying MK. Did you find the competitive fares on their website or did you go through a travel agent ? Thanks in advance for letting me know.

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter


User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2716 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 22848 times:

Hi Peter,

Our travel agent actually. We were just running through different options to get to Europe and, like you, were interested in alternatives. That's when the MK option came up. We did some research and decided it was worth a try.

Since this trip, friends of ours have travelled MK economy several times and reported good experiences each time.

I'd highly recommend them.



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineCptRegionalJet From Germany, joined Oct 2007, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 22555 times:

Thank you for a great report.
Brings back memories of my honeymoon in Mauritius in 2003.
We also flew on Air Mauritius FRA-MRU-FRA in C-Class,but back then it was operated by their 767-200ER.
Could it be that they just used their F-Class cabin as a C-Class on your MRU-FRA sector?Catering looks the same as on the Australia-Mauritius flight.

Cheers
CptRegionalJet


User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2716 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 22397 times:

Yes CptRegionalJet,

I think we received essentially the same meal service as Business Class, although there were cabin crew dedicated to the First cabin only. So we definitely received more attention and they were more liberal with the drinks service etc.

I'm not sure why we were allocated those seats though. We had bought the tickets about 8 months in advance and while we could see we were allocated rows three and four on most sectors (on our e-tickets), the MRU/FRA sector showed our group's allocation as 1A, 2A & B. We thought there had been some mistake and queried it with our travel agent. She said 'just wait and see'. We were almost certain that on the day we turned up for the flight, we wouldn't be placed in First Class.

Adding to the mystery, the Business Class cabin wasn't full on that sector either. Perhaps it was just the fickle finger of fate!  boggled 



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Air Mauritius Business And First Class (Old Style)
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
AA Business And First Class, JFK-LHR posted Sat Dec 30 2000 18:57:20 by JZ
AF Business & First Class, Many Flights With Pics posted Sat Nov 3 2007 18:22:17 by Ulysse
TG PER-BKK-LAX Business And First posted Sat Dec 20 2003 13:08:02 by TNboy
To Beijing With SK And LH (Business/First Class) posted Mon Aug 21 2006 14:02:47 by Beowulf
Air China To Harbin, B777 Economy,A330 First Class posted Wed Feb 25 2009 07:43:50 by Gabrielchew
Air France Business Class: CDG- Tokyo (pics) posted Tue Feb 24 2009 16:37:40 by Bentley55
Air France Business Class: CCS-CDG (pics) posted Fri Feb 20 2009 00:06:10 by Bentley55
Singapore Air SQ11/972 First Class LAX-NRT-SIN-BKK posted Sun Sep 28 2008 11:03:47 by Lufthansa747
HNL-ORD-OKC UA 002 First Class Pics And Vid posted Tue Jul 8 2008 13:12:20 by UAL747
Air China First Class. Beijing-Guilin Via Xi’an posted Wed Mar 5 2008 22:05:10 by Gabrielchew

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format