Feedback: International Airport Ser Sevuzagur Ramgoolam (Mauritius, Plain Manien) is the only one in Mauritius.
The first place where every tourist begins a journey by air is the airport. And the very first superficial impressions of the host country begin with it. The airport in Mauritius is located in a surprisingly picturesque place, almost on the coast. Near a small mountain, it is buried in verdure. There are flowers and fan palms planted on the territory, neatly trimmed lawns, the beauty, you understand at once, here it is – a tropical paradise.
LOCATION Mauritius is so small that it has only one airport, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam or Plaisance. Both of these names are in use, although the first one, difficult to pronounce, is mentioned more often. The airport is situated 15 minutes drive from the town of Maeburg, on the south coast of the island of Mauritius. In fact, this is how we chose to stay on the island, both of our hotels were in Maeburg.
TRANSPORTATION FROM THE AIRPORT
Getting from the airport to your destination by public transport will be problematic. The vast majority of arriving tourists either already have a shuttle service or rent a car right at the airport, or take a cab. But we still found a way to get from the airport by bus. It’s true not right away, with the suitcases on your back, you’re not going to run around looking for the road, where the regular bus is. If you go beyond the airport, at the traffic circle you will find buses to Maeburg and Port Louis. There is no official stop there, but when you vote, the drivers almost always stop. Buses don’t go that often, so you can wait on the side of the road for half an hour. By the way, the traffic in Mauritius is left-handed, this factor should also be taken into account.
Many airlines have regular flights to this airport, in particular: Air France, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, etc., in my opinion, it is more convenient to get to Mauritius from Russia. Air Mauritius, British Airways, Lufthansa and Air India also land here.
Upon arrival in Mauritius, we had to go through border and medical control, to expedite its passage even in the plane we were handed appropriate forms. One form tells us where we are and how long we are in Mauritius, and the second one tells us if we have certain illnesses. Right off the plane we arrived at the border control lounge, what a long time it was. We lost 2 hours, if not more, in line waiting to be let through. Only 3 of the 8 or 10 windows were open. The speed of service was simply disgusting. The local workers were in no particular hurry, no rush and no fuss, I was reminded of America with its eternal manana. Despite the fact that I stood in line for so long, there were no questions about my filled out forms, I immediately got a stamp. It was a little frustrating how quickly they let me go.
But at the medical checkup there was just some kind of surreal thing that happened to me. He took my passport with my photo and began to stare at me intently, the health declaration did not interest him at all for some reason, he did not even look at it. And then he asked me a series of the most “logical” questions to clarify the state of my health: whether I am flying alone, with whom, with a man and with a woman, who is my companion, a friend of a boyfriend or a husband. And the last question really got to me, whether I was happy with them together. It would be good to send the aboriginal man in a very rude form, if he was not mistaken with a banana palm, in the performance of blackmail to extort me with such personal information. Border crossing is not a place for bribery, at the very least, it is unprofessional. But I can’t keep silence, and I repeat: he was holding my passport, which he was in no hurry to give back, and now his decision whether to let me in or not depended on where I would spend tonight, at the airport in the department or in a comfortable hotel. I had to imitate a silly smile and say that my future husband had arrived 2 days before me in Mauritius, to arrange everything in the best way. And now he’s at the airport meeting me at the gate. And yes, I am insanely happy to be with him, how lucky I am. For a monologue like that Stanislavsky would have definitely approved me for the lead role. Well it was the final thrash, I tell you, as long as I travel, nowhere and never was such a thing. As soon as I got my passport in my hands, I ran with the chemonadans to the exit before he changed his mind.
Then we returned to the airport Plaisance a few more times before departure, as there is a room where the car rental firms are located. In one of them (1 First Car Rental) we rented a car twice.
On the autoroute we found a place used by tourists and locals as well. There is an access to the fence of the airport. So if you know the schedule, you can admire planes taking off and landing. So, one evening when we did not want to go to bed early and there was nothing much to do, after checking the airport schedule on the board Plaisance, we decided to watch the incoming planes on the fence too. It was really exciting, the view on landing aircrafts was simply shocking, when huge machines on the runway at the height of 20 meters above our heads. I’m really impressed.
The airport Plaisance has free wi-fi, but slowly. Anything is better than nothing.
The outlets in the departures area are not our usual type. But, strangely enough, whether they are modified, they are suitable for the “Euro” standard, charge your phone, warm water in the kettle without any adapters.
As for the rest the airport Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam is quite typical and standard, the same endless snack bars and duty free stores, of course there are some products with local coloring, but I’m not interested in shopping lately. I don’t use snack-bars either, I take a small kettle with me for one glass, sandwiches.
Part of the departures area was renovated a while ago, it has the nicest atmosphere, interesting design.
Even the poufs for passengers are stylized as sea pebbles.
Airport itself is quite pleasant, but the wrong organization can kill the effectiveness of any, even super modern airport.
If the theater begins with a hanger, the country for the tourist and any of its visitors begins with the airport. Mauritius Airport is located 46 km from the capital Port Louis near the city of Maeburg.
It is the only airport of international class on the island. It is named after Sir Sivusagur Ramgoolam, the first Prime Minister (1900-1985), considered the Father of the Nation and much revered in Mauritius.
The airport used to be called Plaisance, because of its location in the town of Plaisance in the south-east of the island. It was opened for military use during the Second World War. It was built by the British. As a commercial airport, it operates since 1946.
In 1987, a new airport (second terminal B) was opened in Mauritius. It was needed because of the intensified movement to and from the archipelago. The terminal and the airport as a whole were already named Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and were given international class.
In 1999, the Mauritius Airport underwent an expansion project costing 20 million dollars. The two-storey building has been substantially modernized. Arrivals and departures are separated on different floors: tourists depart from the second floor and arrive on the first. There are also stores and cafes, VIP-halls, car rentals, a small duty-free, ATMs and other standard services. There is a large outdoor parking lot near the airport building. This was not the final stage in the development of the Mauritius Airport. A new terminal (D) was opened here 2 years ago and the entire airport was renovated.
Interestingly, the new terminal uses the original LED lighting, the supply of lighting fixtures for which was implemented by a Russian company.
As noted by the current Prime Minister Navinchandra Rangulama, the construction of this terminal was the most important project in the state in recent years, as this new terminal is a platform for further development of the country. The terminal has an area of 57,000 square meters and cost $300 million to build. The pride of the terminal is its ability to accept A380-class aircraft.
Today the airport receives flights from 17 airlines from 80 countries. Passenger traffic is hundreds of people every day. It is 4.5 million passengers a year. Not only the flights themselves, but also a large shopping area makes a significant contribution to the economy of the country.
The airport is the seat of Air Mauritius, which is the national carrier with 7 flights to neighboring islands from Mauritius, as well as to some countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
The architecture of the airport is modern, it is a stone and glass building in a tropical style. The new terminal has three levels. Customs and tour operators are on the first level, Duty Free and Departure Zone are on the second and the third level is for airport services.
Following the course of autonomous development, the Government of Mauritius has built self-contained water supply systems, more than 250 thousand solar panels as well as an elaborate system of natural lighting.
The airport has 3 VIP lounges:
- Le Yu for commercial and private flights (arrivals): kitchen, concierge, chef.
- Atol lounge (outbound): Internet, wi-fi, TV, lounge area.
- L’Amédée Maingard – especially for Air Mauritius passengers and partners.
The parking area has 600 spaces. Unloading and disembarking of passengers is possible in the terminal area.
Car rentals are available at the airport. Agencies are located in the terminal building, such as SIXT, ADA Co Ltd, Europcar, Budget Car Rental, Avis and others.
Banking services are available in both the arrival and departure areas. You can exchange any currency. There are ATMs.
In Duty Free a wide range of duty-free goods, the greatest interest of tourists cause brand perfume, jewelry and tobacco products, watches, cosmetics, alcohol, chocolate. You can also buy local goods: souvenirs, liquor, clothes, tea. Duty Free is available both in the arrivals and departures areas. Experienced tourists advise to buy goods wisely, because in Mauritius, some of them can be found at a better price than at the airport.
As practice shows, in Mauritius, the best way to get to the airport is by cab. Using a hotel shuttle will cost twice as much. On average, from popular resorts such as Grand Baie, Belle Aubre, Flick en Flac, etc. a cab will bring you to the airport for 30-50 € (about 600 rupees).
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