I decided to visit Mauritania in December 2018. This is a country I wanted to go to see for a long time and it seemed that – after a period of ten years or so when it was considered too dangerous to go – Mauritania was again safe to visit.
Although not many airlines fly to Mauritania, finding the best route from my home airport Keflavík, Iceland to Nouakchott offered a great number of combinations. Only Air France flies from mainland Europe, and while it seems to be the obvious choice, the drawbacks are a red-eye return flight and an overpriced business class. Turkish also flies from Istanbul but it’s a long detour and the flight times are not very convenient. Royal Air Maroc flies daily from Casablanca with good connections for Europe, and the return flight is in the morning, not at night. Both economy and business class seem to be reasonably good, but the latter is quite expensive, although not as much as Air France. Other airlines flying to Nouakchott include Air Algérie and Tunisair but they fly only a few times a week using uncomfortable aircrafts and short red-eye return flights – not the best options for me. Mauritania Airlines flies from Casablanca – would have been interesting to try. Eventually I flew with Bintar Canarias from Las Palmas – this airline has good reviews, reasonable prices and the schedules suited me. My return flight was with Royal Air Maroc as I had to go anyway to Morocco for work right after my stay in Mauritania.
I choose TAP to fly from Marrakesh to London for its good schedules and reasonable business class fares.
I took a taxi from Jema el-Fnaa, Marrakesh’ main square, and the whole world’s most interesting square in my opinion. I paid 100 dirhams (about 9 €). The distance is only 5 kms. The building is definitely very nice.
Check-in is on the left end of the terminal. There are theoretically a Terminal 1 and a Terminal 2 but they're basically the same building so don't worry about it. There are several money changers with big differences, so ask around.
There was a single check-in desk with a long queue in economy but nobody in business.
I was checked in in one minute - would have been at least 20 in economy, maybe more. I got a lounge invitation – a completely unrecognisable photocopy
I headed to the other end of the terminal
I was through security in 5 minutes, and through passport control in another 5 minutes. There was priority security, although I wasn’t not sure if I could have accessed as the boarding pass said only lounge for Marrakesh and Fast lane/Lounge for Lisbon. There were anyway few people so I just went to the regular security line.
I went upstairs after security and passport control.
The terminal is beautiful airside as well
TAP uses Oasis Lounge which is at the end of the building, on the same floor
The lounge is nice inside
There’s a small choice of food and drinks
I had an orange juice and a cappuccino
Priority boarding was available, and boarding was by bridge. Another view – the building is really nice
TAP has a modern interior in a good condition with the usual intra-European business class configuration: same seats as in economy with the central seat blocked. There were three rows of business class with a movable divider. Today's load was 5/12 in business class. The aircraft was CS-TNN, built in 2012.
My seat was 1A and there were no other passengers on seats 1B (of course) and 1C. Legroom was not huge.
There was no pre-departure drink.
Boarding started on time at 12.15 and was completed by 12.30. Push-back was at 12.38, and we took off at 12.47 from runway 28 for a scheduled departure time of 12.45.
An expected flight time of one hour and 20 minutes was announced. We were on time but there was an article from TAP’s CEO about the many delays and cancellations, and another article about what had been done to fight against delays
Another article about upgrades – I booked directly business class for this flight anyway, so this was not for me
Nice views of Marrakesh after take off
TAP’s route map
A towel and the menu were distributed
The drink menu
A three course lunch was served
Guinea Fowl Confit as an appetizer with a strong if somehow strange taste
The pasta was tasty
The mousse au chocolat was a huge portion and was quite good if nothing outstanding
I had some white wine and an apple juice
Altogether a very satisfying three course meal for a short flight.
A wet towel was offered at the end again
The crew reduced communication to minimum but checked several times if the passengers needed anything.
The rest of the flight was uneventful. We landed shortly before 14.00, ahead of schedule
Thank you for reading my flight report.
TAP Air Portugal
Marrakech - RAK
Lisbon - LIS
This was a very good flight with a very satisfying meal service.
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