Air Mauritius eyes A321neo, grows fleet with A330-200s
Air Mauritius (MK, Mauritius) is considering the acquisition of an A321-200N to serve Rodrigues Island once the airstrip on the island has been sufficiently extended and once the airline grows its fleet with the expected arrival next month of two A330-200s on a three-year lease from Carlyle Aviation Partners for use on medium-haul destinations, including a new twice-weekly service to Delhi International in India from May 3.
The A330s will also be deployed on existing routes to St. Denis de la Réunion and to Antananarivo, Madagascar, Mauritius' Defi Media reported. The widebodies would allow Air Mauritius to offer more frequencies and help it adapt its fleet to market and passenger needs.
According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the aircraft are the 254-seater VP-CPJ (msn 751) and VP-CPQ (msn 807) previously flown by Fiji Airways (FJ, Nadi). Delivery has been delayed since the end of 2022. The airline also has an outstanding order for two A350-900s (registration number unknown), according to ch-aviation fleets advanced data.
The expected arrival of the two new A330s will bring the number of aircraft in the fleet to 11. This includes two A330-900Ns from Air Lease Corporation; four A350-900s (two leased from AerCap, one leased from Tokyo Century, and one-inhouse aircraft); and three owned ATR72-500s.
Air Mauritius' new chief executive, Kresimir Kucko, was not immediately available for more information on the A321neo plans. The aircraft type is classified as suitable for Code 4C category airports as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), requiring runways that are 1,800 metres or longer. The present runway at Rodigues measures 1,287 metres, according to the ch-aviation PRO airports module.
Since its return to service at the end of 2021 after 18 months of voluntary administration to avoid liquidation, Air Mauritius has gradually resumed operations with flights showing satisfactory load factors on most routes, the report said.
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