Madagascar: Continued standoff between civil aviation and Madagascar Airlines

The showdown between Madagascar Airlines and Malagasy Civil Aviation continues. In particular, the new company has been criticized for officially starting operations without an operating license and an air certificate. “We remind you that the application file for the operating license of Madagascar Airways is still ongoing and the process is in the 3rd step out of 5 granted”, indicated the Malagasy Civil Aviation Authority. (ACM) vide his letter n °077-ACM-DJE dated 11th July.

Malagasy authorities do not recognize Madagascar Airlines

The Malagasy Civil Aviation Authority (ACM) said it was examining the terms of the issue and called company leaders to order. “Madagascar Airlines is not yet an airline and cannot legally be relied upon to be one”, continued the letter to Madagascar Airlines Deputy General Manager Mahari Andriamanji. The letter mentions the risk Madagascar faces if a company operates without the necessary planning documents recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

According to the Malagasy press, major political and financial problems are hidden behind the warnings that provoke a “mixture of styles” between the receivership of Madagascar Airways and the national company Air Mad in 2021. Madagascar Airlines officials say they are keen to save the Malagasy air sector, saying their company was born from the “merger of Air Mad and Jardia”, an Air Mad subsidiary created in 2018.

But the information was denied by the Malagasy Minister Roland Ronjatolina, quoted by the Tribune Madagascar site, who spoke of “a financial system” that goes so far as to dismiss two members of Air’s board of directors, basically, according to him, “this whole situation”. In its letter, the Malagasy Civil Aviation Authority (ACM) also expressed its surprise at this “merger”, questioning its legal basis. “Furthermore, the aforementioned file (from Madagascar Airlines, editor’s note) submitted to the ACM does not constitute a merger in the legal sense of term between Tsarada and Air Madagascar. Consequently, we would be grateful if you would take the appropriate measures to correct the information presented in your communication”, we still read in this letter from Malagasy Civil Aviation.

At Ivato Airport, confusion reigns over the laws of the two companies

The effective resumption of Air Mad operations is not yet known

The creation of this new company in 2015 sparked much controversy. It intervened just as the company Air Mad was in financial trouble. Officials of the national company would have participated in its liquidation, according to the transport minister, who suspended “two members of the board of directors, Rina Rakotomanga and Mami Rakotondraibe, president and vice-president of the board of directors of ‘Air. Madagascar’, according to the online media Tribune Madagascar.

Company officials have yet to officially respond to the lack of legal existence cited by Civil Aviation. It still rejects Madagascar Airlines the status of public air carrier instead of Air Mad as envisioned by the architects of the “merger”. Malagasy authorities maintain the ambiguity of two companies that are heirs to the same liability. However, they vowed to continue Air Mad’s recovery plan. According to local media, the company now has a total debt of 60 million euros, or 40 million compared to the Malagasy state and 20 million compared to France. But the Malagasy state is optimistic. Minister Roland Ronjatwelina pledged to pay the debt “in a bilateral framework with France” to enable “Air Mad to keep on track” without specifying a timetable for resuming operations of the Malagasy national company.


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