GIS - 21 June, 2019: The ‘Chagos Archipelago’, the second Airbus A330-900 New Engine Option (neo) landed, this morning, at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Plaisance. The new aircraft which pays tribute to the struggle of the Chagossian community in their pursuit to regain sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago will contribute to the fleet renewal programme of the national airline, Air Mauritius.
The Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence and Minister for Rodrigues, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, the Chief Executive Officer of Air Mauritius, Mr Somas Appavou, and the Leader of the Chagos Refugees Group, Mr Olivier Bancoult and other eminent personalities were present at the welcoming ceremony.
In his address, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, emphasised that the newly acquired aircraft ‘Chagos Archipelago’ bears significant value for the Republic of Mauritius in line with the fruitful outcomes in favour of Mauritius regarding the Chagos issue at the International Court of Justice and the United Nations General Assembly. He commended the efforts and patience of the Chagossian community in their struggle to return to their homeland and reaffirmed Government’s determination to relentlessly pursue its initiatives in order to effectively exercise sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago.
For his part, Mr Somas Appavou, underlined that the new aircraft will allow Air Mauritius to improve its competitiveness in the current dynamic and challenging fleet market and offer enhanced passenger experience and comfort whilepromoting technological innovation. The acquisition of the new aircraft, he said, marks an important step in the transformative journey of the national airline towards modernising its operation and services. The name ‘Chagos Archipelago’, he added, is symbolical of Air Mauritius’s commitment to support the Chagossians in their battle to regain their native home.
Also speaking on the occasion, Mr Olivier Bancoult, expressed his pride with regard to the name given to the new A330-900neo which gives due recognition to the Chagos Archipelago and promotes their sense of belonging to their native land. He reaffirmed the full support of the Chagos community to Government's pursuit for excision of sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago adding that a crucial stage has been reached in the completion of the decolonisation process.
Airbus A330-900 New Engine Option
Launched in July 2014, the A330-900neo completes Airbus’ new generation Wide body Family. The new generation aircraft can efficiently serve markets on sectors from as short as 30 minutes, to over 15 hours flying time – making them true long-range capable aircraft.
The two A330-900neo, named ‘Aapravasi Ghat’ and ‘Chagos Archipelago’ in reference to Mauritius’ history, embody the exclusive ‘Airspace by Airbus’ concept whereby passengers are offered the most modern in-flight products with comfortable flying experience.
The A330-900 neo aircraft consumes at least 20% less fuel as compared to the current A340-300 enhanced aircraft. The A330-900 aircraft has a similar cabin layout as the A350-900 aircraft and is configured in a two class layout with 291 seats, namely 28 business and 263 economy class seats, with full-flat seats in business class, new seats in economy, new inflight entertainment systems as well as onboard WiFi.
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