Madagascar Airlines, previously known as Air Madagascar, is undertaking strategic transformations in response to economic pressures, marking a crucial moment as CEO Thierry de Bailleul unveils a new business plan designed to restore profitability within a two-year timeframe. Central to this repositioning is a pivotal shift that includes the temporary suspension of international flights and the scrapping of the much-anticipated Embraer E190-E2 acquisition.
Addressing reporters in a recent press conference, de Bailleul elaborated on the rationale behind halting international operations, specifically the ACMI (wet lease) flights to France. This suspension was prompted by a staggering monthly loss of around $2.8 million, stemming from crew expenses, deeply impacting the airline’s financial stability. In response, Madagascar Airlines decided to pause ACMI flights while aiming for a transition to a dry lease model for long-haul flights, operated by their own crews.
Concurrently, Madagascar Airlines unveiled a Codeshare partnership with Corsair International. The company’s director of programs and partnerships, Haja Raelison, announced this Monday, a strategic codeshare agreement between the two airlines for the Antananarivo-Paris route. This alliance enables Madagascar Airlines to align its services with Corsair International’s flights on the route, utilizing Corsair’s Airbus A330-300 or A330-900 aircraft. The collaboration maintains identical pricing and Malagasy service standards, with flights landing at Orly via Reunion, a notable deviation from Charles de Gaulle.
“With this new service, customers will have the same prices as those of Madagascar Airlines, the same Malagasy franchises. The difference is that these planes will land at Orly via Reunion instead of Charles de Gaules,” Haja explains.
Additionally, the much-anticipated Embraer E190-E2 acquisition, initially contracted with Azorra, was canceled. De Bailleul highlighted that this decision stemmed from an assessment that the E190-E2 might not suit Madagascar’s specific operational needs. Concerns regarding engine reliability, particularly associated with Pratt & Whitney engines used in these aircraft, contributed to this strategic shift. The airline now leans towards exploring E190-E1 models, supported by the Malagasy authorities, intending to acquire three of these as part of the revised strategy.
This series of strategic maneuvers, delineated in the airline’s business plan, marks the beginning of a roadmap aimed at steering Madagascar Airlines back to financial stability within two years, as envisioned by Thierry de Bailleul.
The cancellation of the E2 contract bears no financial penalties for the Malagasy company. The airline eyes the E190-E1 model, projecting it to better suit their operational needs while addressing concerns about engine reliability.