first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L & S.F Air Mauritius officially reinstated direct services between Sydney and Port Louis yesterday, marking a return to the route after nearly two years.The carrier, which was forced to stop its Sydney service in late 2008 amid the global downturn, will operate a once-weekly service via Melbourne using a 298 seat A340- 300.It will provide connections to Africa, Europe and the Indian Ocean region including Reunion, Madagascar and Rodrigues.Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard on Tuesday, Air Mauritius Executive Vice President Commercial and Communications Donald Payen said the timing was right for the relaunch.He noted that the relatively strong performance of Australia during the downturn has been encouraging, with the carrier’s Melbourne and Perth operations recording strong load factors.Air Mauritius Chief Executive Manoj Ujoodah said the significant boost in capacity on the re-launched route was in response to a forecast increase in demand and part of its expansion plans.“We are on a growth path and will inject 15 percent additional capacity across our global network this year,” he said.Sydney Airport Chief Executive Russell Balding has since welcomed the return of the Sydney service, saying it will provide Australian travellers with more travel choice.“It offers the opportunity to fly easily to Mauritius and then onto the extensive network of destinations that Air Mauritius serves,” he said. “Air Mauritius’s new service also provides inbound travellers with more choice when flying to Australia.  This is good news for our tourism industry.”As the only carrier in Australia offering direct services to Mauritius, the airline is expecting strong demand from both the leisure and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) market. Sydney Airport CEO Russell Balding and Air Mauritius Executive Vice President Commercial and Communications Donald Payen last_img

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