Madagascar prohibits all flights from South Africa for three months

Airlink, Southern Africa’s premier independent airline has expressed disappointment with  Madagascar’s decision to ban all flights between South Africa and the Indian Ocean island for up to three months.

A few days ago Madagascar’s government announced that it was re-opening its borders from March 5th, 2022, following a prolonged period of isolation in its response to COVID-19.

Earlier today a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was issued by Madagascar which says “All flights to and from South Africa are prohibited”.

Passengers board Airlink flight

This restriction on flights will be a major disappointment for everyone who wants to travel for business, leisure and to reconnect with relatives and friends who they have been unable to visit for the past two years.  Similarly, it is a setback for trade between the two countries.

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Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airlink, Rodger Foster said in the past few days since Madagascar said it would be re-open for travel, “We have received significant interest from people in South Africa, the island nation, our neighbouring countries, and in North America, who are keen to book tickets.   This ban and absence of any explanation by authorities in Antananarivo will be a source of great frustration for them.”

 “We are appealing to the governments of both countries to expeditiously resolve any issues and differences that may have led to this situation so that relations can be normalised and we can restore our usual air services connecting the two markets,” added Foster.

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 Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic Airlink operated flights between Johannesburg, Antananarivo and Nose Be.  It intends to resume services on those routes as soon as the ban on flights between South Africa and Madagascar has been lifted.

Wole Shadare