Review of Air Austral flight Dzaoudzi St Denis in Premium Eco

Airline Air Austral
Flight UU275
Class Premium Eco
Seat 1A
Aircraft Airbus A220-300
Flight time 02:10
Take-off 20 Nov 23, 12:05
Arrival at 20 Nov 23, 15:15
UU   #18 out of 96 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 208 reviews
bldavid
By GOLD 453
Published on 27th 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

I flew from Mayotte to Réunion. Both of them are French overseas departments in the Indian Ocean. Mayotte is between Africa and Madagascar while Réunion is east of Madagascar. The distance between them is 1,410 kilometres. There are currently ten direct flights a week between the two.

I stayed at the Ibis Style Mayotte which has possibly the most comfortable rooms on the island. Walking distance from the hotel to the airport is about 50 seconds.

I arrived to the check-in last minute (on purpose) a short time before 11.00. There was nobody in front of me and I was checked in in one minute.


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The terminal is airy. 


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This was the only departing flight of the day.


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There was no waiting time at passport control. Both Mayotte and Réunion are part of France but not of the Schengen Area.

There was only one person in front of me at security.

The duty free shop right after security.


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The terminal airside.


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Premium economy gives access to the lounge. The lounge has a small capacity of around 20 pax and has a basic choice of food and drinks. 


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Boarding started at 11.53. Premium passengers could board any time.

Our plane was a beautiful A220-300, registration number F-OLAV, delivered in 2021.


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The cabin crew welcomed all boarding passengers warmly.

Air Austral's A220's premium cabin is stunning. It has a configuration of 2+2 seats in three rows with a total capacity of 12. Load was 9/12 on this flight. These seats are beautiful and are a lot better than business class on intra-European flights. Air Austral's premium economy would be called business class on most African or Asian airlines and first class on US domestic flights.


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Legroom is excellent.


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Boarding was completed at 12.13. Push-back was at 12.17 for a scheduled departure time of 12.05.

An expected flight time of 1 hour and 50 minutes was announced.

Newspapers were offered. I don't remember when this happened to me last on a plane. 


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Champagne, fruit juice or water offered during taxi as a welcome drink. Remember: it's marketed as premium economy.

A business jet arrived at this time. Maybe some government officials?


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Turning to the runway.


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We took off at 12.30 from runway 16.

The views after take-off. 


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A hot towel was offered 15 minutes after take-off .

The meal was served at about 12.50. No printed menu but a choice of duck or fish. I had a pre-ordered vegan meal. The second photo shows my neighbour's duck meal.



Although the temperature of my main course was not perfect it was a very good meal. Quantity was more than enough.

Service was exactly as you would expect in premium economy business class.

The northwest coast of Madagascar seen from the air.


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Coffee and tea were offered after the meal service.


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The northeast coast of Madagascar. 


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The rest of the flight above the Indian Ocean was uneventful.

We landed at Saint-Denis Roland Garros Airport at 15.22 and were at the gate at 15.28 for a scheduled arrival time of 15.15.


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Plane spotting at Saint-Denis Airport



Disembarking was by a passenger bridge.


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Many people believe that Roland Garros was a tennis player but he was an aviator from Réunion. He was the first to fly across the Mediterranean.


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My impressions of Réunion

My last stop on this tour was the Réunion. It's also a French Overseas Department, just like Mayotte, but Réunion has a standard of living almost as high as France with similar services and shops, an excellent infrastructure and around half a million tourists a year, most of them French. Réunion has a population of 873,000 for an area of 2,511 km². Population density is therefore high and traffic jams are everywhere. But tourists come to Réunion to see the stunning nature. Lush tropical forests, volcanoes (the highest is Piton des Neiges at 3,070 meters), calderas, lava fields, botanical gardens and the coastline are all part of the spectacular nature. The population has a mix of African, Malagasy, European, Indian and Chinese origins that resulted in a unique Creole culture. Food is excellent, and Creole eateries are everywhere in the country, such as this one called Chez David.


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Réunion is not a beach destination.


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Helicopter tours are very popular.


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The views are just stunning.



Palm trees are everywhere.


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The shore is rocky in most places.


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You can't swim in the ocean but there are quite a few pools around the island.


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Nice vegetation near the coast.


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Notre-Dame des Laves – a church that was surrounded by flowing lava in 1977.


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Verdict

Air Austral

8.3/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering8.0

Salon VIP

6.0/10
Comfort6.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Services6.0

Dzaoudzi - DZA

9.1/10
Efficiency10.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.5

St Denis - RUN

9.3/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

It’s called premium economy but it’s business class, and a very good one.

Information on the route Dzaoudzi (DZA) St Denis (RUN)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 16 avis concernant 3 compagnies sur la ligne Dzaoudzi (DZA) → St Denis (RUN).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Air Austral avec 7.7/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 2 heures et 15 minutes.

  More information

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 640273 by
    Papoumada GOLD 7268 Comments
    Thanks David for the report.

    Monday is truly the day-off une DZA. I had never seen the terminal si empty.

    The presence of immigration control between two French « départements » is quite weird.

    The cabin looks great. UU always had a stunning premium economy class. But prices have hugely risen since 2016.

    I notice the main dish used to be more generous.

    Half a million touristes in Reunion island while Mayotte record is 60 000 (in 2019)

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