The national airline Air Madagascar keeps making efforts for its recovery and launches two additional flights to Marseille.

Two new flights to promote tourism

Being in financial difficulty for a couple of years, Air Madagascar intends to achieve its recovery. Starting from june 26, 2014, the national airline will operate two new fligths to Marseille. Thus, there will be 3 flights per week available serving the destination. This operation is part of Air Madagascar’s contribution to promote tourism in Madagascar. The airline will operate the first direct flight to Nosy Be, one of Madagascar’s leading tourist destination, that will take off from Marseille the june 29. Created in partnership with Nosy Be’s tourism and economic operators, this new flight is aimed, in one hand, to boost local tourism, and in other one, to get the airline’s offers closer to the Mediterranean Sea.

Flights schedule

The flight will be operated every sunday and will take off from Marseille at 7:10 PM to arrive at Nosy-Be airport the next day at 6:00 AM. For the return flight operated on monday, the airplane will take off at 11:00 PM from Nosy Be and will land at Marseille’s airport at 7:50 AM the next day. The basic rate for this flight is € 1,050 including VAT. In addition, from June 26, 2014, Air Madagascar also propose a triangular flight between Marseille, Moroni and Antananarivo. The flight Marseille – Moroni – Antananarivo will be operated on thursday and will leave Antananarivo on saturday. The flight with a stopover in Moroni was created in order to meet the comorian’s market needs and to give the airline’s customers more options for their journey in the Southern France. One of EuroAtlantic’s Boeing B767 will operate all the flights on the Marseille – Madagascar route. The two-classes aircraft has a seating capacity of 16 seats for the business class “Baobab” and 234 for the main cabin “Ylang”.

Located in the southern Toliara, Anakao is a charming rural commune that became one of cruise ships favourite destinations the last few years.

MSC Sinfonia was in Anakao in february

From 2013 to February 2014, Anakao’s port welcomed 13 cruise ships including the MSC Sinfonia. On February the 25th, the Mediterranean Shipping Company’s 250 meters long and 18 meters wide liner called at Anakao’s dock with nearly about 1,700 passengers and 796 staff members inboard after a stop-over in Durban. 160 members of the crew are Malagasy. Sophie Richard, the representative of the local Chef de Région and Shalim Sheraly, the representative of the Chairman of the Board of Madagascar National Tourism Office welcomed the passengers when the vessel anchored in the harbour 400 meters from Anakao. During these ten hours-long call, 1,000 travellers disembarked at the port.

Anakao and its main attractions

200 of them have booked shore excursions organized by Za Tours. The tour operator has chosen the Anakao site especially because it is the best opportunity for cruise lovers to discover southern Madagascar’s endemic fauna and flora. Folk shows and local food’s savour discovery were included in the program of these shore excursions. According to Andry Raoeliarizafy, that shows that the southern Madagascar remains in good position in the MSC’s brochure. The tourists were pleased to explore marine and coastal landscapes of Anakao. They also visited Nosy Ve Island, a heavenly place of Anakao. On the other side, the remaining 800 passengers choosed to enjoy sunbath and all the pleasures allows by the white sandy beach. It was also an opportunity for them to buy souvenirs made by local craftsmen especially for the occasion. In February, MSC Sinfonia call at Anakao’s harbour for the third time as the liners number stopping over in the destination increase every year.

Madagascar National Tourism Office and Air Madagascar maintain their partnership for tourism stimulus projects.

In order to promote malagasy tourism on the international market, Air Madagascar and the ONTM – Madagascar National Tourism Board – have signed a partnership agreement. This agreement is aimed to reinforce both the Government and the President of the Republic tourism policy which strives to attain an objective of 400 000 tourists visiting the Island within 18 months. Thus, the two partners work together to maintain the level of revenue generated by the sector and to increase the number of arrivals. Air Madagascar will also provide the ONTM with about one hundred long-haul tickets so that the tourism board can invite foreign media to discover all the island’s tourist attractions. This represents a great opportunity for malagasy tourism as these members of the international press will help to inform their readers and viewers about Madagascar through the reports they will make on the destination.

This agreement is actually advantageous for both parties because in one hand, the national air company will participate in all of the ONTM marketing operations in 2014 and in the other one, Air Madagascar will attend the B2B International Tourism Fairs in Paris, London, Berlin and Beijing. The company also received an invitation to participate in a couple of trainings organized by the ONTM. These will be held in a dozen cities of France. It is to be noted that tourism generated revenue of USD 320.42 millions in 2013 compared with USD 271.81 in 2012. In other words, it represents an increase of 14 per cent.

Statistics from the Ministry of Tourism show that tourist numbers has decreased by more than 20 % in 2013. However, revenues from the sector are increasing.

Two contradictory situations

Tourist arrivals in 2013 decreased by 22, 31 per cent: 196 375 travellers compared with 255 942 in 2012. However, tourist revenues amounted to Ar 861, 63 billions compared with Ar 614,18 billions of the previous year. According to Eric Koller, the Chairman of the Board of Madagascar National Tourist Office, it is due to the luxury tourism, which is putting up some resistance despite the current crisis that the sector is now facing. He also explained that the 2013 tourist season was rather good for most of the luxury hotels established on the Island. Some other stakeholders in tourism think that it is due to the Swiss tourism market growth. In fact, Swiss tourists have a high purchasing power. In addition, the Italian market occupies a vital and growing position in Malagasy tourism. Most of the travellers from this country enjoy luxury tourism.

A market to tap into

The Ministry of Tourism most recent report reveals that more than 15 per cent of tourism arrivals are from Italia. Italians tourists actually spend 1000 euros more than the French ones for a two week stay. They also are the most demanding in terms of hotel and transport comfort and food quality. With regard on the Swiss market, the number of visitors has increased from 1.43% per cent 2012 to 1.63 percent in 2013. We need to develop that huge market in order to motivate foreign investors and hotels chains. Travellers stayed for a period of 23 days in Madagascar in 2013 compared with 21 days for the years 2009 to 2012.

The Madagascar airline company Air Madagascar decided to step up its efforts in order to satisfy a wider range of clients. Last week, it announced the improvement of its service for the vanilla class.

A same menu as Business Class

Improvements made by the airline focus on restoring aircraft to cover the Tana -Paris route. Indeed, like the passengers booking Business Class, the travelers in Vanilla Class – also known as Premium Econom Class can now appreciate an improved meal. Besides the quality of the menu, meals is now served in porcelain dishes. This privilege was indeed reserved for Business Class passengers .

More privileges for Vanilla Class PAssengers

By amenities it offers, the Premium Economy Class is now becoming increasingly popular. To further satisfy travelers who book this product, Air Madagascar brings more attention to them. Now, the company offers them a belt air bag, a reclining seats to 123 °, a single trowel , an individual 15-inch monitor headphones that reduces noise and a connection socket for laptop. An international newspaper, a bottle of water and a toilet kit are also provided to passengers Vanilla class. In the arrival, the baggage of the passengers traveling in Premium Economy is also processed in priority .

Air Madagascar , a company in constant evolution

At present, the return ticket in Vanilla class is available from 1903.47 euros. This product placed on the market in April 2012 satisfy the travelers. To give more satisfaction to the passengers who reserve this product, the airline compagny decided to improve the service given to them. Since 20 March 2013, Air Madagascar has signed a partnership agreement with the company Air Atlanta. Thus, from that date, the Malagasy national aviation company operates under the Icelandic banner.