Air Madagascar is the flag carrier of the Republic of Madagascar, located off the southeastern coast of Africa. The airline operates international and domestic passenger and cargo services from its primary hub at Ivato International Airport near Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. It is the largest airline in Madagascar and one of the oldest in the region.
Air Madagascar was initially established in 1947 as Compagnie Malgache de Navigation Aérienne (CMNA) and was renamed Air Madagascar in 1961. The airline began operations with a single Piper Aztec aircraft, but soon expanded its fleet with the addition of a Douglas DC-4 and DC-3 aircraft. It then obtained a Douglas DC-6 for international service and became the first carrier to offer service to the Comoros Islands.
In 1966, Air Madagascar became the first airline in the world to operate a fleet of all-turboprop aircrafts when it acquired four Hawker Siddeley HS 748s. The airline also added a Convair CV-340 in 1971, the first pressurized aircraft in its fleet.
In 1978, Air Madagascar became the first African airline to operate a wide-body aircraft when it received two Boeing 707s. The airline acquired its first jet, a Boeing 737-200, in 1983 and this marked the beginning of a period of rapid growth for the carrier.
In 1992, Air Madagascar was the first African airline to introduce a frequent flyer program and the airline has since become one of the most popular carriers in the region. The airline also upgraded its fleet with the introduction of two Airbus A340-311s in the late 1990s and began expanding its route network to Europe and the Middle East.
An unfortunate incident occurred in 2005 when one of the airline's aircrafts crashed in the Indian Ocean near the island of Nosy Be, resulting in the deaths of all 22 passengers and crew members. The crash was the first fatal accident in the airline's history and a federal investigation was launched to determine the cause of the crash.
In 2009, Air Madagascar was one of the first African airlines to receive the new Airbus A380 after it was delivered to its hub at Ivato Airport. The airline has since continued to modernize its fleet and now operates a mix of Airbus and Boeing aircrafts, including the A320-200, A330-200, A340-300, B737-300, and B767-300ER.
Air Madagascar is one of the most important airlines in the region and continues to be a leader in the aviation industry. The airline has come a long way since its inception and has grown to become one of the most reliable carriers in Africa. With its fleet of modern aircrafts, reliable services, and frequent flyer program, Air Madagascar has become a major player in the African aviation market.