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Air Madagascar

Air Madagascar
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1962
Hubs Ivato International Airport
Frequent-flyer program Namako
Alliance Alliance Vanille
Fleet size 9
Destinations 36
Headquarters Antananarivo, Madagascar
Key people Heriniaina Razafimahefa (Chairman)
Air Madagascar head office

Société Nationale Malgache de Transports Aériens, Société Anonyme,[1] operating as Air Madagascar, is an airline based in Antananarivo, Madagascar.[1][2][3] It is the national airline operating services to Europe, Asia and neighbouring African and Indian Ocean island destinations. It also operates an extensive domestic network. Its main base is Ivato International Airport, Antananarivo.[4]

The airline was formed in 1947 to feed into flights by Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux and Air France, and upon the independence of Madagascar, it became the national airline. Initially operating services on domestic routes, the airline saw expansion in the late 1960s and 1970s, when it began international flights to destinations such as France and South Africa.

In recent years the airline has been a subject of failed privatisation measures. These are now on hold and the airline is majority owned by the Madagascar government.


  • History 1
    • Formative years 1.1
    • Jet age 1.2
    • Towards privatisation 1.3
  • Destinations 2
    • Codeshare agreements 2.1
  • Fleet 3
    • Mid-2000's Fleet Renewal 3.1
    • Current Fleet 3.2
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Bibliography 6
  • External links 7


Formative years

DC-7 of Madair seen at Tempelhof Airport in West Berlin. (1962)

Air Madagascar was formed in March 1947 by flag carrier for the newly independent republic.[5] On 23 August 1961, the status of Société Nationale Malgache des Transports Aériens, MADAIR was approved by decree.[6] On 20 October 1961 a service from Antananarivo-Paris, via Djibouti, with a Douglas DC-7 leased from TAI was inaugurated.[5][7] Société Nationale Malgache des Transports Aériens, MADAIR was created on 13 November 1961, with a working capital of 400 million CFA Francs, 447 employees, and a fleet comprising two Douglas DC-4s, seven DC-3s and four Dragon Rapides.[6][8] The government held 20%, Air France 44% and TAI 36% shareholdings, and the government held an option to increase its shareholding to some 65%.[8]

On 1 January 1962, Madair took over service to some 58 points in Madagascar, and on 14 October the name of the airline was changed to Air Madagascar, because of a negative image of the name Madair.[5] In 1962 Air Madagascar carried 103,000 passengers, 7,500 tons of freight and 375 tons of mail and flew a distance of 2,400,000 kilometres (1,500,000 mi).[8] On 31 December 1962, the company was renamed to Société Nationale Malgache des Transports Aériens — Air Madagascar.[9] A DC-3 of the airline crashed at Farafangana on 15 July 1963, killing five people. Flights to the Comoro Islands with DC-4s began in 1963.[5] On 14 May 1963, the Malagasy government increased its share capital to 460 million CFA frances, and its shareholding from 20 to 30.44%.[10]

Jet age

Air Madagascar's Boeing 747-200B at Frankfurt Airport in 1996.

In October 1963 the airline signed an agreement with Air France, which saw Air Madagascar beginning a service to Paris, via Djibouti, in July 1964 with a Boeing 707, which was painted in Air Madagascar livery, and operated by Air France crews. In 1965 the Dragon Rapides began to be replaced by light aircraft, mainly Pipers, and a Nord 262 was ordered in 1966.[5] On 19 July 1967, an Air Madagascar DC-4, on a scheduled flight from Antananarivo to Tamatave and Diego Suarez, crashed after take-off from Ivato International Airport, killing 42 people, including Albert Sylla, the Malagasy Foreign Minister.[5][11][12] The airline began scheduled flights to Rome in 1968, and the airline acquired its first Boeing 737-200 in September 1969.[5][13] The aircraft was maintained by South African Airways, and on 15 October, Air Madagascar began flights to Johannesburg, and in December began flights to Dar es Salaam and Nairobi via Majunga. On 14 February 1970, flights to Johannesburg operated via Lourenço Marques, and on 1 November, the 737 replaced the DC-4 on flights to the Comoros.[5]

In 1971 four de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters were acquired, allowing the airline to retire some DC-3s which were transferred to the Malagasy military.[5] By 1972, the airline was operating 737s on domestic flights to Tamatave, Nosy Be, Diego Suarez and Sambava, allowing for the retirement of two DC-4s. A second 737 was delivered in December 1972, seeing the expansion of routes and frequencies on the airline's network. In April 1974, service with the 737s was extended to Mananjary, Tuléar and Fort Dauphin.[5]

An Air Madagascar ATR 42.

In the late 1970s, services to Johannesburg were suspended as a result of apartheid in South Africa. In 1979 the airline acquired its first wide-body aircraft when a Boeing 747-200B Combi was delivered, with maintenance being handled by Air France. In early 1986 the airline joined the International Air Transport Association, and in the same year placed an order for ATR 42 to replace the HS-748s, which had been delivered to the airline in January 1980.[5][14] Services to Johannesburg were resumed in 1990.[15] In 1994, the airline leased a Boeing 737-300 from ILFC, which was delivered on 12 September, and was introduced on routes from Antananarivo to Johannesburg, Comoros, Mauritius, Nairobi, Réunion and Seychelles.[5] Air Madagascar lost its monopoly on domestic flights in 1995, when the government liberalised the market, although few competitors have yet emerged.[16] Flights to Munich and Rome began in 1996.[5]

In September 1997, the airline ordered an additional three ATR 42 for delivery in October.[17] Services to Singapore began in October 1998, and were suspended in 2002.[18]

Towards privatisation

As part of reorganisation plans to get the airline ready for privatisation, in January 1998, the airline announced that it would phase the Boeing 747-200 Combi out of operation and would replace it with a Boeing 767-300ER. The airline purchased a new 767-300ER from Boeing with an April 1999 delivery date, and leased another aircraft from GE Capital Aviation Services from March 1998.[19][20] Government plans for privatisation of the airline in 1999 to a consortium which include Air France was suspended when the Central Bank of Madagascar defaulted on payments to Exim Bank for the airline's Boeing 747.[21]

In 2002,

  • Air Madagascar
  • Air Madagascar (French)
  • Air Madagascar North America
  • : profile, history and events, contacts and management, historical/current/planned aircraft in fleetsATDBAir Madagascar at
  • 64 avis certifies de passagers sur Air Madagascar

External links


  1. ^ a b "REGLEMENT GRAND TIRAGE AU SORT AIR MADAGASCAR." Air Madagascar. Retrieved on 3 February 2011. "La Société Nationale Malgache de Transport Aérien, Société Anonyme au capital de 33 885 440 000 Ariary ayant son siège social au 31, Avenue de l’Indépendance Analakely 101 Antananarivo"
  2. ^ "Your Advantages." Air Madagascar. Retrieved on 21 June 2010. "NAMAKO AIR MADAGASCAR 17, Avenue de l'indépendance Antananarivo 101"
  3. ^ "Home." Air Madagascar Head Office (Analakely - Avenue de l’Indépendance) Retrieved on 21 June 2010.
  4. ^ Flight International 27 March 2007
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m
  6. ^ a b Pénette; Lohau Le livre d'or de l'aviation malgache, pp.78
  7. ^ Pénette; Lohau Le livre d'or de l'aviation malgache, pp.45
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^ Pénette; Lohau Le livre d'or de l'aviation malgache, pp.46
  10. ^ Pénette; Lohau Le livre d'or de l'aviation malgache, pp.47
  11. ^ Pénette; Lohau Le livre d'or de l'aviation malgache, pp.49
  12. ^
  13. ^ Pénette; Lohau Le livre d'or de l'aviation malgache, pp.50
  14. ^
  15. ^ Pénette; Lohau Le livre d'or de l'aviation malgache, pp.56
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Pénette; Lohau Le livre d'or de l'aviation malgache, pp.58
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
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  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ Air Madagascar fleet


See also

As of October 2015 the Air Madagascar fleet comprises the following aircraft:[32]

An Air Madagascar Boeing 767-300ER at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Current Fleet

During the mid-2000s, Air Madagascar was looking to renew their fleet. The 2 ageing Boeing 737-200 (delivered new to the airline in 1970), which had an average age of 36.7 years were scrapped in 2006[29] and replaced by more modern Boeing 737-300. The airline then replaced its 4 Boeing 767-300ER and 1 Boeing 767-200ER with a Boeing 777-200ER.[30] The middle aged 777 though, was replaced with two Airbus A340-300 wet-leased from Air France from March 2012 till 2018 when a replacement aircraft is required.[31]

Mid-2000's Fleet Renewal


Air Madagascar has codeshare agreements with the following airline (as of April 2015):

Codeshare agreements

Air Madagascar serves destinations in Africa, Asia and Europe.

An Air Madagascar Boeing 737-300.


In 2012 an agreement was reached with Air France to wet lease (ACMI or Aircraft Crew Maintenance and Insurance) 2 surplus Airbus A340-300 for a long term period. The first aircraft (F-GLZL) was delivered in April 2012 and was originally crewed by Air France (it is now crewed by Air Atlanta Icelandic and on the Iceland registry as TF-EAB, and the second aircraft (F-GLZT) arrived in July 2012, re-registered 5R-EAA, and is damp-leased with a domestic cabin crew. Despite being 14 and 12 years old respectively and with a questionable fuel efficiency these aircraft will permit Air Madagascar to resume flights to Europe under its own colors and with a better service.[28]

In 2011 Air Madagascar was put on the list of air carriers banned in the European Union for safety concerns with their ageing fleet of Boeing 767-300 thus prompting the airline to charter a Euro Atlantic Airways Boeing 777-200 for their flights to France.[27]

On 17 June 2009, the airline introduced non-stop flights between Nosy Be and Paris, and in the lead up to the World Cup in 2010 in South Africa, the airline is improving services into Antananarivo for passengers coming to and from Paris and Johannesburg.[26]

Air Madagascar Airbus A340-300 at Charles de Gaulle Airport in September 2012.

The first ATR 72 was delivered to the airline on 14 November 2005, followed by the second which was delivered to the airline at the Dubai Air Show a few weeks later.[25]

[24] which had been operating on its behalf since the crisis began.Blue Panorama Airlines The airline resumed flights to Paris from Antananarivo on 27 April 2003, taking over from [23]

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