Air Mauritius has signed a firm purchase agreement with Airbus for three A340-300Es, with deliveries to begin in the last quarter of 2006. The contract covers also two further options on the same type. With the acquisition of this new generation aircraft, Air Mauritius will be the first all-Airbus operator in the South Indian Ocean region.
The current Air Mauritius fleet already features five A340-300s and two A319s for its long and medium haul routes. Already in 1994, the airline became the first in the southern hemisphere to fly the A340-300 and, in 2001, the first in the region to operate the A319.
Seating 300 passengers in a two-class configuration, Air Mauritius A340-300Es will offer 36 premium class seats with the latest comfort standards in the six abreast configuration that is largely preferred by passengers. Economy class will have 264 seats with the most advanced standards available in the market. This will allow Air Mauritius to further develop the high quality Mauritius tourism product.
The A340-300E is an enhanced version of the A340-300 and incorporates the newest technologies developed for the most recent Airbus long range programmes. It has, among others, the latest flight deck equipment, an increased passengers comfort and enhanced engines. This will allow Air Mauritius to benefit from substantial operational cost savings as well as a brand new state of the art cabin.
Also, the commonality with the existing fleet brings important reductions in the area of training and overall maintenance costs, providing Air Mauritius with an important competitive advantage.
The aircraft will be powered by four CFM International CFM56-5C4/P engines bringing lower fuel burn and emissions. With its unique four-engine operational capability, the A340 ensures ETOPS free operations in the particularly demanding routes over extremely long stretches of ocean to India, Asia and Australia.