AIR MADAGASCAR LEASES B777 TO CIRCUMVENT EU BLACKLISTING
Following the blacklisting over safety concerns by the European Union earlier this year, reported here when it happened, Air Madagascar has substituted a wetleased B767-300ER from Air Italy with a leased B 777-200ER from another European registered airline.
The airline operates three flights a week between Antananarivo and Paris and the route is a major income earner for the islands national airline with almost 120.000 passengers carried between the two 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 were brought on line.
Tourism is a potentially huge income earner for Madagascar but has suffered 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. Happy Landings to the new bird, the crews and the passengers of Air Madagascar.