Review of Ewa Air flight Moroni Dzaoudzi in Economy

Airline Ewa Air
Flight ZD303
Class Economy
Seat 6C
Aircraft ATR 72-600
Flight time 01:00
Take-off 19 Nov 23, 12:30
Arrival at 19 Nov 23, 13:30
ZD 7 reviews
bldavid
By GOLD 261
Published on 26th November 2023

I went to several places in East Africa and the Indian Ocean and I had the following flights:

Paris to Dar es-Salaam (Tanzania), Air France, business class
Dar es Salaam to Lilongwe (Malawi), Malawi Airlines, economy class
Lilongwe to Dar es-Salaam, Malawi Airlines, economy class (no flight report)
Dar es-Salaam to Moroni (Comoros), Air Tanzania, economy class
Moroni to Dzaoudzi (Mayotte), Ewa Air, economy class
Dzaoudzi to Saint-Denis (Réunion), Air Austral, premium economy class
Saint-Denis to Paris, Air France, premium economy class
 
Ewa Air is a small airline not to be mixed up with the much bigger Eva Air from Taiwan. It’s based on Mayotte, a French Overseas Department, and has a small fleet of two ATR72-600s.

The flight from Moroni, Comoros to Dzaoudi, Mayotte is a short one with a typical flight time of 45 minutes only. Check-in opens 3 hours and closes 1 hours and 30 minutes before departure. That’s quite a lot for an ATR that carries a maximum of 64 passengers.

The entrance of Prince Said Ibrahim Airport.


photo 01

I arrived to the airport 1 hour and 50 minutes before departure. The first step was to have the passports checked at the entrance of the building.

Check-in was done without the use of computers: the agent searched for my name on a printed list, gave me a handwritten boarding card and put a handwritten luggage tag on my small suitcase. I put the luggage on a handcart which was pushed (by hand) to somewhere else in the building.

There was no waiting time at passport and security controls.

I was in the gate area. It's one large room. There are plenty of seats but there is no air conditioning. 


photo 02

I was very hungry (it was lunchtime) but the only edible thing I could find in the small shop was this:


photo 03

There was a VIP lounge but I was not invited to go there. I think it was not a business lounge but a lounge for officials. 


photo 04

Boarding started at 12.08 for passengers seated in rows 1 to 5. There was no sign and there were no announcements, just an agent randomly telling some nearby passengers that boarding had started.

There was a luggage search just outside of the building. The two agents doing the searches came from Mayotte on the inbound flight and went back with the same flight.

The plane was an ATR72-600, registration number F-OJMZ, delivered in 2018.


photo 05

A very polite flight attendant welcomed boarding passengers.

This ATR has a relatively spacious configuration with a total of 64 seats only. Legroom was not as bad as on some other ATRs or on my previous Air Tanzania Dash-8 flight. 


photo 06

The cabin looked new and was in very good condition.

A recorded message apologised about the pre-boarding searches in French, English and Shiamore.

We left our parking position at 12.48 for a scheduled departure time of 12.30. We took off at 12.55 from runway 20.

I had an aisle seat so I only had limited views.


photo 07

A packed refreshing towel was offer shortly after take-off.


photo 08

There was a free drink service: water or fruit juice.


photo 09

The rest of the flight was uneventful.

The view before landing:


photo 10

We landed on Mayotte at 13.46 and were at the gate at 13.50 for a scheduled arrival time of 13.30.

I was first at passport control. I got through in 15 seconds.

Mayotte Airport is a nice building which seemed to be the most modern in the world after my recent experience at Moroni Airport.

My impressions of Mayotte

Almost nobody has heard of Mayotte outside of France. It's a small French archipelago located in the Indian Ocean between East Africa and Madagascar. It has a small territory (376 km²) but a large population (officially 310,000 but unofficially at least 100,000 more unrecognised economic refugees from the Comoros). It has an extremely high population density and the second highest population growth rate in the world. Looking at statistics (poorest region of the European Union) and the news (slums and water shortage) you would think it's one of the worst places on Earth. Of course it's not. Most neigbourhoods are in fairly good condition. It has high mountains and lush forests on its small territory and the surrounding waters are as blue as on any poster advertising a tropical paradise. It's streets are bustling with colourful life and there’s an unmistakable tropical vibe. The two main islands, Petite-Terre and Grande-Terre, are connected by a ferry locally called la barge. Mayotte has close to zero real tourists. Its most comfortable hotel is an Ibis Style - no luxury hotels here.

I liked Mayotte. It's definitely interesting to visit.

I went on an ultra-light sightseeing flight about one hour after I had arrived. I love flying on everything from small Cessnas to large airliners but oh my gosh this thing didn’t have doors:


photo 11

Turning on the runway.


photo 12

Right after take-off.


photo 13

We first flew above the coral reef. 


photo 14

View over Grande-Terre.


photo 15photo 16

Signs next to the airport. Pamandzi is the municipality where the airport is. Dzaoudzi was the capital city of Mayotte until 1977.


photo 17

Monaco Beach in the sunset.


photo 18

La Barge (the ferry) links Petite-Terre and Grande-Terre. Return ticket costs 0.75 €.



Dzaoudzi seen from the ferry.


photo 23

The market on Grande-Terre.


photo 24

Downtown Mamoudzou.


photo 25
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Verdict

Ewa Air

7.3/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering7.0

Moroni - HAH

5.5/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services3.0
Cleanliness5.0

Dzaoudzi - DZA

9.3/10
Efficiency10.0
Access8.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Moroni Airport is very retro with handwritten boarding cards and close to zero services but I got through the formalities quite quickly. The Ewa Air flight had only a short delay and was reasonably comfortable.

Related

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 640175 by
    Papoumada GOLD 7268 Comments
    Thanks for this report.

    I guess you had the old terminal building in Moroni as I transited 10 years ago in a much more modern one (works in progress?)

    A short but expensive flight.

    I share your presentation of Mayotte. I guess you appreciated crossing to Mamoudzou on your last morning.

    All the Best!
  • Comment 640183 by
    bldavid GOLD AUTHOR 302 Comments
    Hello and thank you for your comment. Maybe the terminal building in Moroni looked new 10 years ago but has not been well maintained since then?

    Yes, taking the ferry is definitely very nice!

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