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.
My flight from Marrakesh landed at 14.00. If you have a connecting flight with TAP between two non-Schengen destinations, flying for instance from Africa or South America to London, you only have access to a lounge if you have enough time (and a Schengen visa if needed) to pass immigration twice. I had a short connection so I couldn’t try TAP’s flagship lounge.
The start of boarding shown as 1400 on the boarding pass but started only at 14.18. Premium boarding line was available and boarding was by bridge.
Today’s aircraft was an A321, registration CS-TJI, delivered in June 2018 – almost brand new.
The cabin was of course in a very good condition. TAP has 8 rows of business class with the usual Eurobusiness sests – standard economy seats with the central seat blocked. Load was 17/32 on this flight.
No welcome was drink was offered.
Doors were closed at 14.45 and an expected flight time of two hours and 15 minutes was announced. Push-back was 14.50 and we took off at 15.00 from runway 03 for a scheduled departure time of 14.40. There was an Easyjet aircraft in front of us at the holding point and a Royal Air Maroc plane landing
We flew to the North with tons of nice views of Portugal. I would love to visit the central parts of Portugal, not only the coast.
A towel was offered 25 minutes after take-off but nothing else for another 25 minutes. Still no drink offered more than one hour after boarding.
So a cold meal was served 50 minutes after take-off (which was fine as we were between lunch and dinner time): cold meat with salad, fruit salad and some sweet pastry. There was no printed menu.
One of the two types of cold meat was very tasty, the other not so much.
I didn't try the pastry as it didn't look very nice
The fruit salad was OK
I had some coke and white wine.
Coffee and tea were offered later.
The rest of the flight was uneventful. The only entertainment was TAP’s onboard magazine – see more details in my previous flight report from Marrakesh to Lisbon. I just noticed this model plane:
Sunset was shortly before we approached London and we had some London by night sightseeing.
We landed at 1715. for a scheduled time of arrival: 1730. We reached our parking position at 17.25.
Thank you for reading my flight report.
TAP Air Portugal
Lisbon - LIS
London - LHR
This was a very average intra-European business class with an average meal and an average crew that only did what was absolutely necessary.
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