Airlink will restart scheduled services between South Africa and Madagascar after they were
suspended for almost three years. The resumption of flights linking Johannesburg with Antananarivo follows the lifting of Madagascar’s COVID-19 travel restrictions and a subsequent ban on air services to and from South Africa. The ban was put in place by the Madagascar government in April last year in response to the 2020 arrest at OR Tambo International Airport of three Malagasay nationals attempting to smuggle 73,5 kg of gold bullion and US$20 000 (R344 705) in cash.

“Airlink, as the designated South African carrier to Madagascar, welcomes the Madagascar government’s lifting of the prohibition which lets us re-establish these air services that are vitally important economic, trade and tourism connections between the two countries. We are looking forward to re-connecting South Africa with Madagascar and resuming our role in supporting the
recovery of ties between the two markets,” said Airlink CEO and MD, Rodger Foster.

South Africa is an important source market and supply-chain link for Madagascar’s business and leisure tourism sectors. Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport is well-positioned for Madagascar-based businesses and travellers to access destinations within Southern Africa
and in conjunction with Airlink’s airline partners, destinations in the Americas, UK and Europe.

Airlink will operate its flagship Embraer E-Jet airliners on the Johannesburg-Antananarivo route. The Johannesburg-Antananarivo service will recommence on January 30 with a single weekly flight on Mondays, increasing to three flights weekly from February 14 with the intention of
reinstating daily services as demand increases.

Antananarivo, as Madagascar’s capital and main commercial and economic hub, is Airlink’s immediate priority. The resumption of services to Nosy-Be will be considered in due course. Nosy-Be is an increasingly popular and unique Indian Ocean beach destination renowned for its pristine flora and unique fauna, which include whale sharks and lemurs.