Air Austral, La Reunion Island (France) home carrier, confirmed the launch of a new non-stop flight between St Denis de la Reunion and Bangkok, starting in November. “We are in an expansion phase and want to be perceived as a high-quality, service-oriented airline”, explains Jean Marc Grazzini, Air Austral Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing.
One of the first market to benefit of additional capacity is Asia. “We will offer 40% more capacities to Asia as a whole. We will de-link our flight St Denis-Chennai-Bangkok. With bangkok, we will put our newest aircraft, Boeing 787 offering a three class premium product”, stresses Mr. Grazzini.
Bangkok will benefit of two non-stop weekly frequencies. “This is a very important flight to us as Bangkok is an excellent hub. We have commercial agreement with Thai Airways to transfer passengers to other destinations in Southeast Asia, Japan and China”, Mr. Grazzini went on to say.
The Boeing 787 will provide additional comfort for passengers: a brand new business class with a full-flat bed, an improved seat in Premium Economy with a larger pitch, a better inclination and in economy class, more comfortable seats with a larger TV screen. Wi-fi will be available in all classes of service from the winter on the B787. On its Boeing 777 (flights to Paris), passengers will also be able to book “Extra Sleeper” service in Economy Class which will allow couples or families to buy three seats next to each other and convert them into a real berth. While Chennai will be served on a stand-alone operation with the Boeing 787, Air Austral will also open a code-share flight to Guangzhou in China with Air Madagascar. The flight will link Antananarivo-St Denis-Guangzhou.
The opening of the non-stop Bangkok-St Denis route is likely to boost traffic between Thailand and the French overseas territory. It could even help re-positioning the island as the closest European Union destination from Thailand. As it will only be located six hours away from Bangkok, La Réunion could become a perfect short-break destination (it is as far as Tokyo from Bangkok) with its typical French way of life, gastronomy, fashion, architecture and culture- mixed local creole culture and a warm climate suitable for Asians!