In what is very promising news, Air Madagascar will soon become much more reliable and convenient for travellers, due to joining forces with Air Austral, a French airline based in Reunion. The two Indian Ocean carriers signed an M.O.U stating that Air Astral will own 49% of Air Madagascar. The two airlines were previously partnered as preferred flyers but this new stake brings with it a plan for regional development and traffic growth.
Travellers to Madagascar will know that Air Madagascar has struggled with unreliability in the past, with flights either being delayed or completely cancelled. The assistance of a larger, more established carrier will go far in making sure these issues are taken care of, one way they will achieve this is through introducing more flights.
Over the next 10 years, Air Madagascar will undergo a two-stage turnaround. In the first three years, the focus will be on recovering and laying foundations for future growth. The next phase is the growth phase, where the focus lies on expanding its fleet and opening up new routes.
Air Austral has committed to invest $40 million in Air Madagascar and will take over day-to-day operations of its new partner, as well as select the CEO. The Madagascan government will select the chairman and retains its 51% ownership of the national carrier, it has also committed to upgrading local airport infrastructure.
It’s a positive move for a country that until recently has been under the radar for most travellers but as more and more people discover its unique and diverse attractions can see itself becoming a sought-after destination.