Amidst the downturn in travel by air, Air Austral continued with its planned launch of revenue services with its brand new Airbus A220-300 from its home base in Reunion to Mayotte.
The airline served a two hour flight on 18, August using one of its new A220s with registration F-OLAV between Saint-Denis, Reunion and Dzaoudzi, Mayotte.
Translated from French, Marie-Joseph Malé, Chairman and CEO of Air Austral, said in a statement, “The reception of this new aircraft is a very strong moment for Air Austral, especially in this context of crisis epidemic that we have been experiencing for over a year. I would like here to thank and congratulate the teams and partners which enabled this structuring and strategic acquisition for Air Austral and its future. This is for the company a fundamental and responsible investment. The Airbus A220-300 opens up new horizons for us.”
“This is the device we needed to confirm our vanguard position in the Indian Ocean, while maintaining the prospects of sustainable profitability. Its level of comfort and performance allow us an undeniable leap in efficiency, both operational and environmental. Our regional service is gaining new impetus. We are impatient to be able to introduce our customers to this new travel experience, as soon as the health situation permits. More than ever, we are ready for the recovery.”
The airline welcomed F-OLAV to the Reunion base on August 13 completing its delivery of a total three A220-300s.
“After F-OMER and F-OTER, it’s F-OLAV’s turn to land in Reunion. He joined his 2 brothers this morning around 10 Here we offer you some pictures of his arrival. Air Australia thus loops the renewal of its medium-mail fleet. These planes will take you to the destinations of the Indian Ocean served by the company. More fuel efficient, more efficient and more modern, you’ll enjoy brand new and design cabins. The first commercial flight is scheduled for Mayotte on August 18th,” the airline announced through its social media.
Partnership with Corsair
Air Austral is also reportedly exploring the idea of a commercial joint venture with French rival, Corsair on Indian Ocean flights.
“Against the backdrop of the ongoing health crisis, which is affecting the long-term profitability of the aviation industry, Air Austral and Corsair have decided to initiate discussions with a view to agreeing a commercial cooperation (JV) on these routes,” the two airlines said.
“This major project will contribute very significantly to stronger connectivity, not only in the French overseas departments, but also with other destinations served by the two companies.”
The two airlines suggested several other areas for network cooperation, including Africa, Canada and the Indian Ocean destinations of Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar and the Seychelles.
The partnership would also offer new cargo options, with the Joint venture subject to approvals from the companies’ labor groups and by the French competition authorities.
By Victor Shalton Odhiambo