Air Mauritius South Africa flights
(Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
  • Air Mauritius, which resumed its flights to Johannesburg following the island’s reopening to South Africans in October, has seen a surge in travel interest.
  • Because of this, the airline will begin operating seven weekly flights between Mauritius and Johannesburg from 7 November.
  • It’s not the only airline to capitalise on holiday-starved South Africans.
  • South African Airways has also announced that it will return to the island in November.
  • And low-cost carrier FlySafair makes its inaugural flight to Mauritius in December.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Air Mauritius will increase its flight frequency to Johannesburg amid a surge of interest from South African travellers following the island nation’s long-awaited reopening.

Mauritius reopened to fully vaccinated South African visitors in October after multiple setbacks for holiday-hungry travellers. Although the island began its phased reopening in September, when vaccinated tourists were confined to resorts and private beaches, South Africans, regardless of their vaccination status, were still prohibited from visiting Mauritius.

This changed in October. The second phase of Mauritius’ reopening, which includes travellers from South Africa, allows fully vaccinated tourists, who provide a negative Covid-19 PCR test result, to explore the island. Unvaccinated visitors need to quarantine in a state-managed hotel room for 14 days.

Air Mauritius has since resumed its Johannesburg service, operating four weekly flights from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. But the demand from South Africans looking for an island getaway following almost 20 months of travel restrictions has outstripped the national carrier’s current capacity, according to the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA).

“The decision to increase capacity was made after significant interest from countries including the UK, France and South Africa,” said Nilen Vencadasmy, chairman of the MTPA.

“We know that when booking a holiday, travellers take comfort in using our nation’s flagship airline, and as we approach Christmas and the New Year during our peak season, we are looking forward to welcoming visitors to Mauritius.”

But Air Mauritius isn’t the only airline to increase the frequency of flights between Johannesburg’s OR Tambo and Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.

South African Airways (SAA) recently announced that it would be returning to Mauritius with two weekly flights starting from 21 November. The national carrier, which has returned as a much smaller airline with only eight destinations, including Mauritius, offers competitive fares.

South Africa’s popular low-cost airline, FlySafair, will make its inaugural flight to Mauritius on 11 December, capitalising on the holiday season rush. FlySafair’s discounted tickets to Mauritius, on announcing the new route and most of its festive season flights, are already sold out or nearing capacity.

British Airways – operated by Comair – also resumes its service to Mauritius at the end of November.

Air Mauritius will use its Airbus A350-900 and A330-900neo aircraft to service Johannesburg, with its increased frequency starting from 7 November.

Travellers to Mauritius will need to have Covid-19 insurance and present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure. All visitors will also need to complete a travel form, which requires a proof of vaccination.

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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