Qatar Airways to Launch Daily Flights to Madagascar: A Boost for Tourism and Trade

By Ivan PetrenkoJan 31, 2024 00:14 AMNews
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Beautiful alley of baobabs during sunrise in Morondava, Madagascar
Beautiful alley of baobabs during sunrise in Morondava, Madagascar. Source: unsplash

In a significant move to enhance its global connectivity, Madagascar is set to establish direct flight connections with the Middle East, thanks to the approval from Qatar's Aviation Authority. This pivotal decision allows Qatar Airways to initiate seven weekly flights, marking a new chapter in the island nation's aviation and tourism sectors.

Strategic Agreement Paves Way for Enhanced Connectivity

The agreement, reached during a meeting between the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) and Madagascar Civil Aviation (ACM) in Antananarivo on January 26, culminates in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This MoU, signed by QCAA President Mohamed bin Faleh Al Hajri and ACM Director General Gervais Damasy, authorizes Qatar Airways to operate passenger and cargo flights from Doha Hamad International Airport to Madagascar, Africa's largest island.

Qatar Airways: A Trailblazer in Madagascar's Skies

As the first airline to serve this route, Qatar Airways is set to significantly enhance Malagasy connectivity. While the airline's official schedule and launch date remain unannounced, this development aligns with its broader strategy to expand its network, already encompassing over 175 destinations in nearly 80 countries as of January 2024.

Fostering Tourism and Economic Growth

The introduction of this route is a strategic leap for Madagascar, poised to welcome one million foreign tourists in the next five years. The Malagasy government's proactive approach includes negotiations with other Middle Eastern carriers. Qatar Airways, now the sole Middle Eastern airline flying to Madagascar, is expected to diversify the visitor demographics, attracting a global tourist base. Additionally, Qatar Airways' cargo division will facilitate increased trade between Madagascar and the Middle East.

Madagascar's Growing International Footprint

Madagascar's main airport, Antananarivo Ivato International Airport, currently serves ten domestic and six international destinations. The Doha-Antananarivo route will be one of the longest, second only to the Antananarivo-Paris CDG route by Air France. With ten international airlines, including Airlink and Kenya Airways, operating in Madagascar, the island's connectivity is rapidly expanding. This development also includes enhanced connections with Mayotte, aiming to stimulate trade and tourism.

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