Flight Review – Air Mauritius MK647: Kuala Lumpur to Singapore by Airbus A330-200

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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. I got myself a ticket on Air Mauritius from KL to a tropical island, but instead of one that’s about 9 hours away, I was headed to a neighbouring island instead on the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore – Port Louis route.

This is one of 3 Fifth Freedom Flights on the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore 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.

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Check-in for my flight to Mauritius Singapore was at Row L.

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Not much of a queue here for check-in.

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Check-in was one of the best I’ve ever had in KLIA.

I had a glass display box to bring back home and was concerned if I could carry it on board as hand baggage. Unfortunately, it had reasonably sharp edges so the check-in staff advised me to check it in, but was genuinely concerned about it breaking during the flight and asked if I wanted to go get it wrapped more just in case. (I had wrapped it with about 10 layers of newspaper on each corner already so it was quite good to go, but that was pretty thoughtful of her anyway.)

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My boarding pass for my MK647 flight back to Singapore.

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Heading for immigration.

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The queue looks quite empty, with approximately 10-15 people in each queue. However, this process still took about 20 minutes to complete, even with each queue leading to 2 or 3 immigration counters, ie. with an average time spent of 2 to 4 minutes per passenger.

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Not sure what this Customs Checkpoint is for. Feel free to pass through the body scanners with your pockets full and your filled water bottle, but place your bags in the x-ray machine where they will be supposedly screened. The security checks for boarding the plane are not done here.

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Heading to the Satellite Terminal for my flight departing from Gate C17 via the Aerotrain.

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The relatively spacious Aerotrain as compared with my ride the day before.

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Heading off to the Satellite Terminal.

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Two Aerotrains were in service this time.

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The Aerotrain at the Satellite Terminal.

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Heading to Gate C17.

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Ooh, someone’s face seems to be missing from the panels beside the travellators.

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Gate C17 is right at the end of the pier.

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The flight was ready for boarding when I reached the gate, so it was a pretty smooth walk from security screening at the gate and straight to the plane.

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The path on the right was for Economy Class passengers.

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Boarding the Air Mauritius Airbus A330-200, 3B-NBL “Nénuphar”.

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The interior of the the Air Mauritius Airbus A330-200.

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The legroom available for my seat.

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A tourism video of Mauritius was played while the plane was still at the gate. Here’s a similar video from YouTube:

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Contrary to my previous flight, headsets were provided in the seat pockets. However, the entertainment system was not in the Interactive mode, so it was still kind of useless.

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Once the plane was ready for departure, the cabin crew came around to close the overhead compartments. Announcements were made to welcome everyone on board, and to introduce the aircraft name of Nénuphar – water lilies – to everyone.

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Pushing back from Gate C17.

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The safety video was played, with scenes of Mauritius almost throughout the video. It’s probably one of the few (if not only) safety video which makes an emergency ditching look fun.

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After the safety video was played, this screen showed up.

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Preparing for take-off.

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The plane had to wait for an incoming Cathay Dragon Airbus A330-300, which was still in the old Dragonair livery.

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Glad I’m not on this ML series.

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Ready for take-off at Runway 32R.

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Bye Satellite Building.

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Bye Main Terminal Building.

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Turning left towards the Strait of Malacca.

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KLIA from above.

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Flying by Port Dickson.

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Once the seatbelt signs were switched off, refreshments were served.

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The light snack consisted of a mixed vegetable sandwich and a box of apple juice. Tasted pretty alright, and more than I expected since the previous flight had only a box of juice.

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Passing by Muar.

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The front Economy Class cabin was pretty full for this flight.

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The back was about half empty though.

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The extra legroom bulkhead seats might be useful for a long flight to Mauritius.

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The rather clean washroom on board.

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Nearing Singapore, the plane flew pretty high above Batam than what I’m usually used to on narrow-bodies. Not sure if it’s due to the assigned flight level or the bigger plane.

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Turning back from Batam to Malaysia.

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It was a little bumpy on approach to Singapore due to the rain clouds.

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Landing into Changi Airport from the north-east.

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Passing by Pulau Tekong.

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Approaching mainland Singapore.

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The partially-burnt written-off 9V-SQK sitting at Parking Bay 517L.

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A Volga-Dnepr Antonov An-124 Ruslan, a rare sight in this region.

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Touched down at Changi Airport.

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Turning back to Terminal 1.

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The new Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 parked at a remote stand near Terminal 1.

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Turning into Gate D37.

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A last look at the cabin.

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Goodbye Air Mauritius.

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All passengers have to disembark from the aircraft at Singapore, including transit passengers to Mauritius. However, transit passengers to Mauritius can re-enter to the gate immediately.

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As for me, I’m headed out.

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Goodbye MK647, leaving to Mauritius without me.

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Heading down to arrival immigration and baggage reclaim.

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The new refurbished Terminal 1 baggage reclaim area.

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Since most people were headed for Mauritius, all bags for Singapore-bound passengers were on the belt by the time I got here.

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Once past customs, it’s a walk to the new arrival hall under Jewel Changi Airport.

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.)

For a short flight, having a wide-body to serve the route is already a bonus. On top of that, there’s the frills of a full-service airline including check-in baggage (and friendly ground staff), substantial light refreshments and even one of the most friendly cabin crew on the KL – Singapore sector.

Would I fly Air Mauritius again? If the schedules to KL fit, and I’m rushing for time, sure.

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