Air Mauritius today took delivery of its first A319 from Airbus, becoming a new operator of the type and the first customer for the A319 in the region.
Air Mauritius has chosen a very comfortable layout offering 12 seats in business and 108 seats in economy class, as well as a state-of-the-art entertainment system. The Port Louis based airline benefits from the optimized cabin cross-section of the A319 with wider seats and aisles, as well as greater overhead stowage, allowing Air Mauritius to offer all the advantages of long-haul comfort on short-haul routes.
With the delivery of its first A319, Air Mauritius reaffirms its position as a trendsetter in the region. It was the first African and Southern Hemisphere customer for the long range A340 in 1994 and now becomes the first airline in the region to introduce the A319. Air Mauritius' A319 is powered by CFM56 engines from CFM International.
"Our brand new A319 will enable Air Mauritius to boost up its operational performance in terms of seat capacity thus matching market demand whilst further increasing frequencies for the improved convenience of our regional passengers. This acquisition gives Air Mauritius a technological lead and completes our existing fleet with a 120 seater aircraft. This is in line with our vision to enhance our regional service and also enables us to redeploy our long haul aircraft in view of our future developments" says Vinod Chidambaram, Managing Director of Air Mauritius.
Air Mauritius already operates five wide-body A340s from Airbus, which share virtually identical flightdecks, on-board systems and handling characteristics with the single-aisle A319. This unique operational commonality among aircraft types is only possible with Airbus aircraft. It allows airlines to substantially reduce operational costs, because pilots and engineers do not require extensive amounts of training to transfer from one aircraft type to another.
Air Mauritius will operate the A319 on sixteen weekly round trips within the African continent to Cape Town and Nairobi as well as Indian Ocean islands, such as Reunion Island, Madagascar and the Seychelles. The unmatched range of the A319 also enables the airline to reach Mumbai in India and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
"We are delighted that Air Mauritius has chosen the A319, becoming the first operator of this type in the region and strengthening the role of Air Mauritius in the region. Our world depends on trade and tourism and air travel is a basic need, which is especially the case for Mauritius, the natural springboard for trade and tourism with the African continent," says Airbus Chief Executive Officer Noël Forgeard.
The A319 is part of Airbus' highly popular A320 Family, the best selling single-aisle aircraft family on the market, comprising the A318 (107 seats), A319, A320 (150 seats) and A321 (185 seats). The A320 Family is the only single-aisle aircraft able to accommodate containerized cargo.
Offering the most modern and comprehensive airliner family in the world, Airbus is the joint number one manufacturer in the market for large commercial aircraft. To date, the Airbus family of aircraft has won some 4,400 orders from more than 180 customers. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.