Emirates today operated a one-off A380 service to Mauritius, officially to coincide with the island’s 45th anniversary of independence.
Unofficially it served as a capacity-raising hint from the airline, which currently operates double-daily flights on Boeing B777-300s.
Emirates President Tim Clark said its partnership with the country and Air Mauritius has been strong since it started operations 10 years ago. “As a major partner of the tourism industry, we will continue to support the island throughout our network to stimulate in-bound traffic,” he added.
But the Mauritian authorities have to weigh up whether that stimulus will be at the expense of Air Mauritius, which also flies to Dubai on B777-300s. Today’s flight marked the first commercial A380 to the island.
Emirates recently deployed a couple of special A380 services to Barcelona, in a similar move to promote the aircraft to the Spanish market. More than 14 million passengers have now flown on the airline’s A380s globally.
Serge Petit, CEO of Airports of Mauritius, appeared to warm to the prospect of more A380 flights, saying it brought the opportunity to increase the number of passenger seats to the island. “This is where the significant investment in our brand new terminal and airside infrastructure as well as all our drive towards modernisation would pay dividends.”