(eTN) – Air Mauritius flight MK 053 was the first to arrive at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport on Tuesday this week to use the new parking facilities now in place, part of a greater refurbishment and modernization of the island’s main international airport. One of the two new parking bays, according to a Port Louis-based source, is capable of receiving the giant Airbus A 380, which in fact arrived only hours later, at 1:00 pm, to celebrate the island’s independence day with a visit by an Emirates A380, which carried the airline’s President, Tim Clark, and other top officials who came for talks with codeshare partner, Air Mauritius, and government officials.
Only days earlier had Clark expressed his interest at ITB in Berlin to eventually fly one of the two daily frequencies between Dubai and Mauritius with the giant aircraft, though this would require regulatory approvals by the Mauritius government first – and delight the tourism industry on the island which has for years been advocating for greater air access and larger capacities.
Air Mauritius CEO, Andre Viljoen, who was at the airport to witness the launch of the new facilities before welcoming the Emirates delegation, was quoted in local media, as relayed by the source, as having said: “We applaud the efforts of AML and ATOL for every effort to minimize the impact of inconvenience on airport operations during construction. As a major partner of the airport, it is indeed a great moment of pride and privilege for us and our passengers are the first to use these facilities.”
Mauritius is undertaking a major capacity upgrade and refurbishment of their existing airport with a new terminal building being built, aimed to substantially increase the handling capacity of the airport in expectation of increased visitor numbers in the coming years.