Mauritius, an island nation some 1,200 miles off the east coast of Africa, is bidding to establish itself as a key hub for Asia-Africa commercial schedules.
In late 2015 it signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore’s Changi Airport to establish an air corridor agreement to link Africa and Southeast Asia.
Mauritian Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth said the agreement would help “transform [our] island into one of the biggest aviation hubs of the region and to firmly establish the country as the … key of the Indian Ocean.
Trade body Enterprise Mauritius (EM) said the agreement would be officially inaugurated 1Q 2016. It added that it was in the process of negotiating with mainland African neighbor Swaziland “on avenues of cooperation [on an] Air Corridor between Africa and Asia/Southeast Asia.” EM said the new moves would open up air connections across Asia to more than 90 destinations through Singapore Airlines, Silk Air and Tiger Airways.
Additionally, in an interview with local media, Mauritian Minister of Tourism Xavier-Luc Duval said AirAsia was set to launch a Kuala Lumpur (KLIA2)-Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam airport, Mauritius schedule from October 2016.
“AirAsia will operate four flights a week to Kuala Lumpur, promising at least 50,000 additional tourists to our island a year,” he said.
In March 2016, the island’s flag carrier Air Mauritius said it would move its Southeast Asian hub from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Singapore’s Changi. An airline spokesperson said the move would “take advantage of new opportunities and the marketing might” of Singapore’s Changi.
Mauritius also recently signed a bilateral air services agreement (ASA) with Australia for an extension of flight services between the two countries.