Air Madagascar leases B777 to circumvent EU blacklisting


(eTN) – Following the blacklisting over safety concerns by the European Union earlier this year, Air Madagascar has substituted a wet-leased B767-300ER from Air Italy with a leased B777-200ER from another European registered airline.

The airline operates 3 flights a week between Antananarivo and Paris, and the route is a major income earner for the island’s national airline with almost 120,000 passengers carried between the 2 countries last year.

While initially absent from the route after the ban, Air France picked up considerably more traffic on their own 4 times a week service and Air Madagascar had to claw their way back into the passenger good books. Confidence in the airline had diminished in Europe after the ban but returned gradually when a leased aircraft with European registration was brought on line.

Tourism is a potentially huge income earner for Madagascar but has suffered a substantial downturn since the political upheavals brought a regime into power by a coup d’ etat and the country was subsequently suspended by the African Union and put under sanctions by western countries.