Airbus A220-300 d'Air Austral (Photo: Air Austral) Air Austral’s Airbus A220-300 (Photo: Air Austral)

Present in Paris for the IFTM Top Resa trade show, Air Austral’s Chairman, Marie-Joseph Malé, does not usually express himself. However, he outlined the foreseeable evolution that Air Austral will take in the coming months. ” We’re on an upward trend, after a year and a half of a rebounding pandemic

,” he explains. The island of Reunion has benefited, like the other DROM (Overseas Departments and Regions), from territorial continuity with Metropolitan France. This has enabled Air Austral to maintain its activity, a necessity for the Indian Ocean territory.

During the summer season, Air Austral operated flights between Paris and Reunion, Paris and Mayotte and between Reunion and Mayotte. Flights never stopped, even at the height of the pandemic, with at least two flights a week. This territorial continuity has resulted in two state loans of 30 and 20 million euros.

Resumption of regional routes this winter

International flights are picking up again. ” We are once again serving Mauritius with the reopening of the borders and regional flights are increasing in power. Before the end of the year, we will also resume our connections to Madagascar, first to Tananarive and perhaps Nosy Be. India and Southern Africa, and in the longer term Thailand should follow

“, describes Marie-Joseph Malé, who is cautiously optimistic.

On the other hand, the route to Guangzhou, China, operated in partnership with Air Madagascar will not be resumed. ” Already because our cooperation with Air Madagascar has ceased. And the potential of the route from Reunion Island alone is no longer sufficient to justify a resumption

“, explains the Chairman of Air Austral.

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The Air Austral/Corsair joint venture will create an even more powerful air offer

Air Austral expects a lot from its agreement with Corsair on the Reunion-Metropolitan route. “It is more than a simple code-share agreement. In fact, it is a real joint venture with joint operations and revenue sharing. This JV will be set up before the end of the year. It will enable us to offer a very complete range of flights between France – Paris CDG and Orly, but also Lyon and Marseille – and Reunion Island with aligned pricing and greater flight flexibility for passengers

“, explains Marie-Joseph Malé. The combined strengths of the two companies should represent between 55% and 60% of total traffic at the airport. In 2019, Air Austral’s market share at Saint-Denis reached 45.2% of traffic, Corsair’s 11%.

Air Austral nevertheless sees the future with optimism, especially since the company enjoys the unconditional support of the region and its new majority.

The traffic should resume in 2022, the company received last August its Airbus A220-300 put into service on its regional routes. The company will have resisted the crisis generated by the pandemic thanks to a prudent management according to Marie-Joseph Malé.