Air Austral Joins Dreamliner Ranks

Although it is a small one, Air Austral has officially joined the ranks of many other industry giants amongst the airline carrier world by taking in its first 787 Dreamliner. The delivery marked the first of two Dreamliners schedule to be delivered to Air Autral as part of a 2015 order which coincidentally marked the first time it is done so for a French operator remarked Boeing VP for commercial sales in Latin America, Carribbean and Africa, Van Rex Gallard.

The CEO of Air Austral Marie-Joseph Male has stated that the airline intends for the Dreamliner to offer nonstop services from Mayotte, one of France’s island territories in the Indian Ocean to the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Air Austral’s growing fleet of 777’s can now boast of a 787 to complement its trans-continental network to Europe and Asia. The French airline holds base in Sainte-Marie, Reunion, France at the Roland Garros Airport.

Founded in 1975, Air Austral was created by businessmen Gerard Etheve and operates scheduled services from Reunion to a number of destinations in the Indian Ocean. With a fleet of nine aircrafts and over 900 employees, Air Austral has quietly become a mainstay for those traveling to and from locations primarily within the Indian Ocean. Having made headlines within the industry back in 2009, Air Austral declared it would purchase two Airbus A380 superjumbos only to reconfigure the double-decker jet and change it to an 840 sea all-coach format.

The company has since abandoned that idea as their orders were official canceled just earlier this year, however the novel idea would’ve made Air Austral the first ever to outfit the A380 with that layout. Founder and Former Chief Executive Gerard Ehteve was replaced in April of 2012 by now CEO Marie-Joseph Male citing financial difficulties exacerbated by risky business decisions and skyrocketing fuel prices. Since the transference of control the company has since returned to profit and the delivery of the 787 Dreamliner confirms as such. The Dreamliner is the perfect fit for medium to long haul routes and is expected to be 25% more fuel efficient compared with other aircraft of similar size and can reach a distance of 12,964km, covering more than 90% of the world's twin-aisle routes.

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