Airline review: Air Mauritius economy class, Perth to Mauritius

Our rating

3 out of 5

The plane

Air Mauritius Airbus A330-200; the airline has two in its fleet, each with 24 business- and 251 economy-class seats.

The route

Perth to Mauritius

The loyalty scheme

Kestrelflyer (points can also be earned for Emirates' Skywards program and Air France)

The seat

Economy, seat 34G

Duration

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Seven hours, 40 minutes

Frequency

Twice weekly (Air Mauritius will add a third weekly flight to this route from July 2017)

The seat

The economy seats on board this Airbus are an older style – patterned fabric and cushioning you won't see on most modern carriers. The layout is 2-4-2 and seats have a pitch of 31 inches (79 centimetres) and width of 18 inches (46 centimetres).

Baggage

One piece of checked luggage up to 30 kilograms (note, allowances can be lower if flying on to other destinations in Europe or Africa) and one item of carry-on luggage up to seven kilograms, plus one personal item.

The comfort

Even as airlines look to cram more passengers into less space, seat design has improved over the years and Air Mauritius seats are decidedly old-fashioned. The padding results in a larger seat than is necessary and means the space feels quite cramped for my 185-centimetre frame. The seat pocket design – low and loose – doesn't help. Another old-fashioned aspect of the airline is more welcome: passengers still get amenity packs, which is increasingly rare in economy class, and these are well stocked. The island-themed bag contains socks, an eye mask, a pen, ear plugs, a toothbrush and paste. We also have a decent blanket and pillow waiting for us on board.

Entertainment

The squarish seat-back touch screens are also a throwback – there's no wide-screen, tablet-like ease of navigation here, selections require repeated tapping to hit the right spot. There's a controller in the armrest as an alternative. The brightness on the somewhat blurry image needs to be up all the way to watch clearly. On the plus side, there's a good selection of movies from blockbusters to more arthouse fare and some TV shows too. Enough to keep you entertained for the duration of the flight.

Service

The staff are friendly, well presented and speak excellent English. Requests are met with a smile and courtesy.

The food

The meals are palatable enough, with the two economy options on offer: chicken fillet in tarragon sauce with mashed potatoes, or prawn and squid with ratatouille and rice. Later in the flight there's a snack of pizza, which is quite good, and dried fruit.

One more thing

Air Mauritius offers direct flights to Europe, making it an exotic, alternative stopover option for those heading to the continent. It also flies to the nearby, French-owned Reunion Island. The 45-minute flight officially puts you in French territory, making it one of the shortest international flights in the world.

The verdict

Air Mauritius' cabins could do with some updating, but this remains your quickest option to reach one of the most beautiful island paradises on the planet.

The writer flew as a guest of Lux Resorts.

See also: Airline review: Air Vanuatu business class

See also: Airline review: Air New Zealand premium economy