Mauritius is probably best known as a luxurious tropical island destination with hotels on white sandy beaches with mountainous backdrops in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The flag carrier of Mauritius, Air Mauritius flies non-stop between Singapore and Port Louis since 15 March 2016.
I got myself a ticket on Air Mauritius, but unfortunately, I wasn’t heading to a tropical island, but rather, a tropical peninsular north of Singapore called West Malaysia on the second leg of their Port Louis – Singapore – Kuala Lumpur route.
This is one of 3 Fifth Freedom Flights on the Singapore – Kuala Lumpur route. A Fifth Freedom Flight refers to a flight between two countries which are not the airline’s home country and a ticket can be purchased for this sector between the two countries.
UPDATE (22 April 2020): Air Mauritius has been placed into administration.
MK646 departs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 9.00am from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. Check-in was at Terminal 1, Row 14 where there wasn’t anyone in the queue in front of me.
Check-in was rather quick, done in less than a minute since I’ve already completed my online check-in and I didn’t have any check-in bags.
Two groups of people came by after I’ve completed my check-in.
My boarding pass for my MK646 flight to
Mauritius Kuala Lumpur.
Inside the transit area of Terminal 1.
As MK646 would be coming in from Port Louis and not originating from Singapore itself, I checked Flightradar24 to see where the plane was coming from and headed to the Cactus Garden to spot the arrival.
MK646 from Port Louis to Singapore touched down at Singapore Changi Airport at 8.21am, 31 minutes delayed from schedule.
The flight was operated by 3B-NBL, Air Mauritius‘s only Airbus A330-200 in operation on my date of travel. Air Mauritius has a grand total of 2 Airbus A330-200s in its fleet.
3B-NBL heading to Gate D36.
Wondering where might be the most unusual spot to take photos at such angles?
Thank you Changi Airport for the best view out of the toilet. (And for keeping it clean at all times. Thanks Uncle.)
Heading on to Gate D36 to board my flight to Kuala Lumpur.
3B-NBL “Nénuphar”, from the outdoor smoking room beside Gate D36.
The MK646 flight to KL is code-shared with Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.
3B-NBL “Nénuphar”, from the gate hold room of Gate D36.
The gate hold room of Gate D36, before all other passengers from Port Louis came in. All passengers on direct flights through Changi Airport need to disembark from the plane and go through security screening before re-boarding the plane.
What’s left of my boarding pass after entering the gate hold room.
Boarding was called after all passengers were cleared from the plane and most have gone through security screening.
There’s this different feeling before flying when boarding a wide-body plane rather than a regular short-haul narrow-body.
Heading to the plane via the aerobridge.
Stepping on board Air Mauritius for the first time.
The interior of the Air Mauritius Airbus A330-200 3B-NBL “Nénuphar”, in a 2-4-2 configuration.
The bulkheads are decorated with tropical scenes of Mauritius.
Heading to the aft cabin where my seat is.
The extra legroom seats at the front of the cabin, which might be worth it for the flight to Mauritius.
Seat 30A would be where I am for the next hour.
The Economy Class legroom on Air Mauritius’s Airbus A330-200.
The entertainment box sticks out on both sides of each seat pair.
The view of the cabin from my seat.
The entertainment screen remains switched on from the previous flight, however, no headphones were provided on this short sector.
The entertainment system is touchscreen, with a remote control at the side of each seat.
A two-pin jack is required to plug your headphone into the entertainment system.
The row of 4 seats would make for a nice bed for an overnight flight to or from Mauritius.
Signs around the plane are in English and French.
The literature in the seat pocket are placed in a clear Air Mauritius plastic folder, which is great when I was rummaging the seat pocket for my phone and passport after landing as I didn’t have to flip through magazines to find it.
The safety video was played upon pushback.
The safety video was great, with scenes of Mauritius which I’m not going to experience even after disembarking from this plane.
Watch the full safety video here:
A Xiamen Airlines Boeing 737-800 in SkyTeam Livery. While Air Mauritius isn’t in one of the bigger airline alliances, I could use my Flying Blue (Air France/KLM) frequent flyer account to accumulate miles on Air Mauritius.
Ready to take-off.
Terminal 5 under way.
3B-NBL “Nénuphar” was the sole Air Mauritius Airbus A330-200 in operation at the time of my flight, with the other aircraft being retrofitted.
Let’s see if the new Airbus A330-900neo will replace the Airbus A330-200 on the Singapore and Kuala Lumpur routes.
While I could access the other parts of the entertainment system, I switched to the flight map throughout the flight since there weren’t any headsets provided.
A Mauritian juice box was distributed on a tray by the flight attendants on this short flight.
The mixed fruit juice was a vast mix of apple, grape, guava, passion fruit, pineapple, peach, pear, mango and orange.
A look around the washroom on board.
Moisturizer and cologne were provided in the washrooms.
The flight was rather comfortable since it was half-empty. The crew also walked around the cabin chatting with passengers, especially those who were continuing their journey from Port Louis.
Descending into Kuala Lumpur.
The flight information was rotated between English and French.
Had a little French class about what city names around the region are in French.
Passing over Port Dickson.
The very visible Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson from above.
The former LCCT, now sitting empty.
Touched down at 10.11am, 11 minutes late.
Turning back to the KLIA Satellite Building.
Turning into Gate C14.
A last look at Seat 30A.
Disembarking from the aircraft.
Looking back at the Air Mauritius plane.
Outside the gate, there was a KLIA staff greeting everyone with “Welcome to Malaysia”. First time I’m experiencing this, or maybe it’s just for long-haul flights?
Heading to the Aerotrain to get to immigration and out of the airport.
Only one Aerotrain was in operation.
The other train on the outer track was under maintenance on the other platform.
The relatively crowded platform.
I had almost wanted to go downstairs to check if the shuttle bus was available, but the train pulled in just in time. Risk it to go down and check on the bus or board the train and squeeze for 2.5 minutes?
I opted to squeeze.
Wonder how long the other train will take to get back on service.
Boarding the Aerotrain to the Main Terminal Building.
It felt as though I was on the KTM Komuter to Midvalley for the 2.5 minutes I was squashed at the door.
Surviving the “Welcome to Malaysia” ride, I got off the train on my door’s side, to which I was promptly chided by a KLIA staff. More on that on a dedicated post coming soon.
Heading for immigration clearance. Luckily, as I got down fast enough, there was just one person ahead of me at the immigration counter.
Baggage reclaim was at Belt E.
The bags weren’t available yet, but luckily I had no check-in bags to wait for. There was still an estimated 6 minutes and 55 second wait for the bags, despite already having walked from the gate to the Aerotrain station, an Aerotrain ride, walking to immigration and clearing it.
Back in KL. Seems like just last week that I was here. Hmm.
Overall, among all my flights on the Singapore – Kuala Lumpur sector, I have to say that Air Mauritius is to me the best airline serving on this route on all flights I have taken so far. (For the record, I have flown with Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, AirAsia, Jetstar Asia and Tigerair (now Scoot) so far on this route.)
My flight was actually supposed to be 3 weeks before, but it got cancelled. However, the after sales service was great with the Singapore call centre rather responsive in picking up calls (none of those press 1 press 2 nonsense) and were very accommodating in my requests for my preferred flight change. The crew on board were also quite pleasant despite having already flown on a 7-hour flight from Port Louis just before, with one of them even asking me if I had gotten great photos of the flight after seeing me click around with my camera. And of course, being on a wide-body for a short flight is definitely a bonus.
Would I fly Air Mauritius again? If the schedules to KL fit, and I’m rushing for time, sure.
To Mauritius? Perhaps next time when I have more time and money, and the Mauritius Metro Express is completed. But with the crew as ambassadors of Mauritius, I think it would be a very warm and friendly country for a holiday.