Air Madagascar hires Boeing 737-800 from China (Africa Review)


August 22, 2015

Madagascar’s ailing flag carrier, Air Madagascar, has embarked on a commercial turnaround strategy with the acquisition of a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The plane is on a six-year lease from the Chinese corporation ICBC.

The acquisition was overseen by President Hery Rajaonarimampianina in a ceremony on Friday.

“The aircraft is equipped with cutting-edge recent technologies,” the President’s Press Service noted in a brief release. It added that the aircraft was efficient in terms of fuel consumption.

The 188-seat plane will be deployed on Air Madagascar’s domestic and regional flights.

Blacklisted

The airline is only now recovering from a crippling general strike initiated by the company’s workers in June and July.

This resulted in the collective resignation of its board of directors including the managing director.

The new MD is Mr Leon Rajaobelina, a former Finances minister who is currently a special advisor to President Rajaonarimampianina.

Over the last weeks, out-country flights were constantly cancelled due to technical concerns over the airline’s old and only Boeing 737.

In other major blow, Madagascar’s flag carrier was blacklisted by the European Union.

The freshly-acquired Boeing 737-800 will serve destinations in Seychelles, Mauritius and Kenya, according to Mr Rajaobelina.

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