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Air Austral launches Paris-Sydney route

8 Apr 2009 by Mark Caswell

From next week Air Austral will launch an alternative route for travel from Europe to Australia, with the start of flights from Paris to Sydney via Reunion.

Air Austral has served Paris CDG from Reunion (an overseas département of France situated to the south of Mauritius) for several years, and from April 12 the carrier will add flights from Reunion to Sydney, allowing passengers to travel from France to Australia with a connection on the island.

Flights will depart twice a week from Paris on Sundays and Wednesdays, with the return legs leaving Sydney on Saturdays and Tuesdays. On Saturday flight UU771 will depart CDG at 0850, arriving into Reunion at 2145, with a two-hour connection, leaving the island at 2335 and arriving in Sydney at 1555 the next day. The total flight time is just over 23 hours. On Wednesday the flight will depart Paris at 2250, with similar flight durations and connections meaning passengers will touch down in Sydney at 0605 on the Friday.

The return leg UU772 leaves Sydney at 1210 on Saturday and 1325 on Tuesday, touching down in Paris at 0530 and 0645 respectively the following day. There is also the option to stop over in Reunion, as Air Austral offers a total of nine weekly flights from the French capital to the island.

Flights will be served by Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, configured for three classes: Leisure Class (economy, with a seat pitch of 83cm); Comfort Class (premium economy, with 34 leather seats, 125 degrees of recline and a 96-cm pitch); and Club Austral Class (business, with 14 seats, 145 degrees of recline and a 140-cm pitch).

The launch of the new flights is interesting because neither Air France nor Qantas ply the route between Paris and Sydney. When Business Traveller checked today, an online return fare in Club Austral cost €4,413.89, departing Wednesday April 29 and returning Saturday May 9.

Air Austral recently announced its intention to purchase two A380 superjumbos, configured with up to 840 economy class seats – see online news January 19.

For more information visit air-austral.com.

Report by Mark Caswell

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