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Aviation Authority of Qatar grants approval for 7 weekly flights to Madagascar


Flights for both passengers and cargo to Madagascar

The Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) disclosed this information after a meeting with Madagascar Civil Aviation (ACM) in Antananarivo on Friday, January 26. Subsequent to productive discussions, both parties formalized their agreement by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create a direct air connection between the two nations.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was officially executed by QCAA President Mohamed bin Faleh Al Hajri and ACM Director General Gervais Damasy. Under this agreement, Qatar Airways is authorised to conduct seven weekly passenger and cargo flights from Doha Hamad International Airport (DOH) to the largest island in Africa.

Qatar Airways will assume the pioneering role as the first airline to operate flights along this route. While no official schedules have been released, the commencement date is pending announcement. The MoU, as highlighted by the QCAA, is in harmony with Qatar Airways’ strategic plan to enhance and broaden its operational network.

Tourism development in Madagascar

As of January 2024, Qatar Airways has a network encompassing over 175 international destinations across almost 80 countries. The recently introduced route to Madagascar is set to establish connections for Malagasy travelers via Doha Airport, thereby reinforcing the island nation’s ties with the Middle East and global destinations.

Antananarivo’s inclusion in Qatar Airways’ network will expand its service to more than 28 destinations in Africa. The Malagasy government, in collaboration with other airlines, is actively promoting connectivity, striving to achieve the target of hosting one million foreign tourists within the next five years. Madagascar’s Minister of Tourism, Valery Ramonjavelo, revealed to Newsmada, “Discussions have already been initiated with other companies operating in the Middle East region.”

Qatar Airways is positioned as the sole Middle Eastern carrier flying to Madagascar. The Minister anticipates that the airline’s presence could diversify the island’s visitor demographics, attracting tourists from various parts of the world. Furthermore, through its cargo division, Qatar Airways aims to facilitate increased trade between Madagascar and the Middle East.

Global links of Madagascar

Antananarivo Ivato International Airport (TNR), situated in the Malagasy capital, serves as the primary airport for the country. Presently, it facilitates scheduled flights to ten domestic and six international destinations. Covering a distance of 2,643 nautical miles (4,894 km), a direct route between Doha and Antananarivo would stand as the second-longest route from the island, following the Antananarivo-Paris CDG route operated by Air France.

Currently, Madagascar is served by ten international airlines offering scheduled passenger flights, which include Airlink, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Air France. Notably, Airlink resumed its Johannesburg to “Big Island” service early last year. Conversely, by the close of 2023, Madagascar’s national carrier, Madagascar Airlines, ceased all international flights to concentrate on domestic operations as part of its turnaround strategy.

Madagascar Airlines Requires USD 100 Million to Resume Flight Operations.

Madagascar is considering avenues to enhance connectivity with Mayotte, a French department located in the Indian Ocean. The objective is to elevate trade and tourism ties between the two regions through the augmentation of passenger and cargo flights. Presently, Ewa Air, a subsidiary of Air Austral, manages passenger flights between Mayotte and Madagascar.

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