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Name: AIR AUSTRAL
7JetSet7 Code: AUX
Status: Operational
Region: AFRICA
City: ST MARIE
Country: REUNION
Employees 770
Web: air-austral.com
Email: client@air-austral.com
Telephone: +262 262 93 10 10
Fax: +262 262 93 10 50
Sita: RUNGVUU
Background
(definitions)

Click below for data links:
AUX-2003-08-1
AUX-2003-08-2
AUX-2003-08-3
AUX-2003-08-4
AUX-2005-06-A-777
AUX-2009-02-A380
AUX-LOGO
AUX-MAP-FEB09

FORMED IN 1974. ORIGINALLY KNOWN AS "REUNION AIR SERVICE," WAS RENAMED "AIR REUNION" IN 1987, AND IN 1990 WAS RENAMED "AIR AUSTRAL."
DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL, SCHEDULED AND CHARTER, PASSENGER & CARGO, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.

ADDRESS:
PO BOX 611
F-97472 ST DENIS, REUNION

REUNION COVERS AN AREA OF 2,512 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 0.7 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS SAINT-DENIS, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS FRENCH.

MAY 1997: AIR FRANCE (AFA) OWNS 34%, SEMATRA 34%, OTHERS 32%.

TO ANTANANARIVO, COMORES, DZAOUDZI, JOHANNESBURG, MAURITIUS, NAIROBI, NOSSI-BE, SEYCHELLES, DURBAN, TOAMASIMA, AND MAHAJANGA.

CODE SHARE WITH (AFA), MAURITIUS (MAU), AND MADRID (MAD).

PEMCO WORLD AIR SERVICES (ASC) CONTRACT FOR QUICK CHANGE (QC) CONVERSION OF 1 737-300, AT DOTHAN, ALABAMA, USA.

JULY 1997: 737-300 DELIVERY, FOLLOWING PEMCO CONVERSION.

APRIL 1998: 140 EMPLOYEES.

SEPTEMBER 1998: FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1997 = +$2.2 MILLION (+$2.2 MILLION) (NET PROFIT).

APRIL 1999: 200 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 15 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 23 CABIN ATTENDANTS (CA)).

SITA: RUNDDUU.

(http://www.air-austral.com).

DECEMBER 1999: 1 ORDER (JULY 2000) ATR 72-500, FOR SERVICES TO MAURITIUS, AND MADAGASCAR.

APRIL 2000: 200 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 15 FLIGHT CREW (FC), & 23 CABIN ATTENDANTS (CA)).

AUGUST 2000: 1 ATR 72-500 TURBOPROP DELIVERY, TO BE BASED IN
PIERREFONDS AND OPERATES TO MADAGASGAR AND MAURITIUS.

PLANS TO LEASE 1 757-200, FOR SERVICE TO NAIROBI, AND PARIS, IN OCTOBER 2000.

DECEMBER 2000: NOW PLANS TO LEASE 1 767-300ER FOR SERVICE FROM MAYOTTE TO PARIS, WITH 1 INTERMEDIATE STOP. CURRENTLY LINKS MAYOTTE (DZOUDAI) WITH REUNION, MADAGASCAR, THE COMORES, THE SEYCHELLES, KENYA, AND ZIMBABWE.

REFERS TO ITSELF AS THE "FRENCH AIRLINE OF THE INDIAN OCEAN."

APRIL 2001: MAIN BASE: ST DENIS AIRPORT (GILLOT). ST PIERRE AIRPORT (PIERREFONDS).

NOVEMBER 2001: SITA: RUNGVUU.

APRIL 2002: MAIN BASE: ST DENIS DE LA REUNION ROLAND GARROS AIRPORT (RUN).

OWNERS: SEMATRA (37.72%); AIR FRANCE (AFA) (36.01%); FRENCH BANKS & OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS (26.3%).

November 2002: 2 orders (April 2003) 777-228ER's (PW4090) (28676; 29908), ex-Air Europe Italy (EIY), (ILF) 6 year leased.

March 2003: In May 2003, code share with Air France (AFA), Paris (CDG) - St Denis de la Reunion.

May 2003: 1 777-2Q8ER (29908, F-OPAR), (ILF) 6 year leased.

July 2003: 140 employees.

May 2004: Is considering adding service to Marseille, and between Mayotte and Paris in 2005.

2003 Fiscal Year (FY) Pre-tax = +EUR 1.2 million (+50%).

+1 order (May 2005) 777-200ER (29402), (ILF) 7 year leased.

September 2004: Selects Boeing (TBC) & Air France Industries (AFA) for a joint component services support program for its 777's.

May 2005: 3rd 777-2Q8ER (29402, F-OMAY), (ILF) leased for new service to Marseilles (2/week).

July 2005: 737-39MQC (28898), returned to Europe Air Post (EUE).

September 2005: Air Austral (AUX) chose Aviareps as its General Sales Agent (GSA) in Germany and Switzerland, responsible for all sales and marketing activities of (AUX).

November 2006: This month, Air Madagascar (MAD) is routing its bi-weekly nonstop service from Antananarivo to Bangkok, via St Denis (Reunion Island), and operating in code share with Air Austral (AUX). Flights depart Antananarivo and St Denis on Mondays & Fridays, and depart Bangkok on Tuesdays & Saturdays on a (MAD) 767-300.

May 2007: Air Austral (AUX) operates scheduled and non-scheduled services from Reunion in the Indian Ocean to France, the Comores, Madagascar, Mauritius, South Africa, and the Seychelles.

140 employees.

(IATA) Code: UU - 760. (ICAO) Code: REU - (Callsign - REUNION).

SITA: RUNDDUU.

Parent organization/shareholders: Sematra (37.72%); & French banks and other financial institutions (26.3%).

Main Base: St Denis de la Reunion Roland Garros (RUN) airport (RUN).

Domestic, Scheduled Destinations: St Denis de la Reunion Roland Garros (RUN); & St Pierre de la Reunion.

International, Scheduled Destinations: Atananarivo; Dzaoudzi; Johannesburg; Lyons; Majunga; Marseilles; Mauritius; Moroni; Nossi-Be; Paris; & Tamatave.

August 2007: (ILFC) (ILF) announced the following lease contract: Air Austral (AUX) for two new 777-300ERs (35782; 35783) for eight years each with delivery in February and March 2009.

December 2007: Panasonic Avionics will supply its eX2 In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) and communications system to Air Austral (AUX) for installation on three existing 777-200s and two 777-300s currently on order.

January 2008: Air Austral (AUX) will become a new player in the Europe - Australia market. The Reunion-based carrier will launch Paris Charles de Gaulle - Saint Denis - Sydney service, in addition to flights to Noumea and New Caledonia in its 2009 summer schedule. It will lease two 777-300ERs from (ILFC) (ILF) for eight years, with delivery in February and March 2009. It currently operates three 777-200ERs and three 737 Classics.

August 2008: ATR 72-500 (813, F-OZSE), delivery, ex-(F-WWEC).

November 2008: Executives from Air Austral (AUX) visited Sydney, Australia to negotiate the start of services (in April 2009) with a 777-300ER. The flights will originate from Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), with a stopover at (AUX)'s home base of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. In reality, this service will offer Australian passengers three new European destinations as (AUX) will also hub in Reunion with its flights from Marseilles and Toulouse.

(AUX) 777-300ERs yet to be delivered will offer 18 Business class (C), 40 Premium Economy, and 384 Economy class (Y) seats.

January 2009: Air Austral (AUX) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus (EDS) for two A380s in a single-class configuration, seating around 840Y passengers in the widest economy (Y) class seats. (AUX) plans to operate the A380s through one of its subsidiaries on its high-density route to Paris. Delivery is scheduled for 2014.

May 2009: Air Austral (AUX) took delivery of its first 442-seat, 777-3Q8ER (35782, F-OSYD) and will operate the new airplane on its Reunion - Paris Charles de Gaulle route. A second 777-3Q8ER (35783, F-ONOU) was delivered on May 22.

June 2009: Engine Alliance (EA) said Air Austral (AUX) selected (GP7200)s for its two A380s on order plus a 10-year fleet management agreement. Total value of the deal is $240 million.

November 2009: At the Dubai Air Show, Air Austral (AUX) firmed the commitment for the two A380s. Value of the order was put at $1 billion, including $240 million for the engines, spares and aftermarket support.

(AUX) currently operates two 777-300ERs, three 777-200ERs, two 737s and three ATR 72-500s, according to its website.

December 2009: Air Austral (AUX) made an order for two 737-800s, which are worth $152 million at list prices and will replace one 737-300 and one 737-500.

September 2010: Air Austral (AUX) will commence twice-weekly service from Saint-Denis Roland Garros to Nantes and Bordeaux on February 10 aboard a 777.

December 2010: Air Austral (AUX) took delivery of 2 new 737-89Ms from Boeing (TBC), it ordered to replace 1 737-33A and 1 737-53A in its fleet.

2 737-89M (40910, F-ONGA "Marius and Arius Leblond;" 40911, F-ONGB "Raphael Barquissea."

SEE PHOTO - - "AUX-737-89M-2010-12."

777-39MER (37434, F-OREU), deliveries.

August 2011: Air Austral (AUX) operates scheduled and non-scheduled jet airplane services from Reunion in the Indian Ocean to France, the Comores, Madagascar, Mauritius, South Africa, and the Seychelles.

770 employees.

(IATA) Code: UU - 760. (ICAO) Code: REU - (Callsign - REUNION).

SITA: RUNDDUU.

Parent organization/shareholders: Sematra (37.72%); French banks and other financial institutions (26.3%); and others (36.5%).

Main Base: St Denis de la Reunion Roland Garros airport (RUN).

Boeing (TBC) delivered to Air Austral (AUX) its 1st 777-200LR. As 1 of the newest members of the 777 family, the 777-200LR has the capability to connect non-stop virtually any 2 cities in the world. (AUX)’s 777-200LR will enable (AUX) to fly non-stop from Mayotte, a French Department north of Madagascar, to Paris.

(AUX) currently operates a fleet of 6 777-300ERs and 777-200ERs. With this delivery, (AUX) becomes the 2nd carrier in Africa to take delivery of the 777-200LR airplane.

The 777-200LR airplane can fly farther than any other airplane, while carrying a full passenger and cargo load, on routes where other airplanes are payload limited.

December 2011: Air Austral (AUX) will launch 2x-weekly, Saint Denis to Seychelles to Paris Charles de Gaulle 777-300ER service on March 27.

January 2012: Air Austral (AUX) will cease 2x-weekly Saint Denis (RUN) to Sydney to Noumea service as well as its 2x-weekly (RUN) to Bangkok service at the beginning of summer. (AUX) will also add 2x-weekly Seychelles to Paris (CDG) and will increase its Lyon service from 2x-weekly to 3x-weekly. (AUX) has recently returned 1 777-200ER.

May 2012: Air Austral (AUX) has not yet taken delivery of its latest 777-200(LR) (40993, F-OLRB) as it has not been able to finance the last payment to Boeing (TBC). As a result of its financial troubles, new General Director Marie-Joseph Malé who has joined last month, has announced fairly drastic measures in an attempt to cut losses at (AUX). As of the end of October, it will give up its routes to all French airports other than Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and no longer serve Bordeaux Mérignac (BOD), Lyon St Exupéry (LYS), Marseilles Provence (MRS), Nantes Atlantique (NTE) and Toulouse Blagnac (TLS). Instead, it will serve Paris (CDG) 2x-daily either cooperating with AirFrance (AFA) and/or French railway operator (SNCF) to provide connections. (AUX) will already give up its St Denis de la Réunion Roland Garros (RUN) to Sydney Kingsford Smith (SYD) to Nouméa La Tontouta International (NOU) route on August 16 and plans to use 1 of its 2 737-800s on the St Denis de la Réunion Roland Garros (RUN) to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International (BKK) route from October, operating via Chennai Meenambakkam (MAA). The only other remaining long-haul route, a 2x-daily Paris (CDG) service, will only require 3 777s and it plans to keep a 4th 777 based at (CDG) for charter and wet-lease (ACMI) services. (AUX) currently operates 777-200(LR) (in addition to F-OLRB), a 777-200 and 3 777-300(ER)s. Its other 777-200ER (29402, F-OMAY) has already been parked since the end of April. (AUX) is considering entering into new partnership agreements with Air Madagascar (MAD), Air Mauritius (MAU) and Air Seychelles (SCY) to improve regional connections instead.

(AUX) has announced that it will cancel its order for 2 A380-800s originally placed in 2009. It had planned to use the A380s in a full Economy (Y) Class configuration with 840Y seats, which would have allowed it to have a significant cost per seat advantage over its competitors between Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and St Denis de la Réunion Roland Garros (RUN) airports.

August 2012: Corsair International (COR) has filed a suit with the administrative court of Saint-Denis de la Réunion complaining about the investment of 63.5 million EUR, Air Austral (AUX) has received from the regional government of Réunion as part of a recapitalization effort. (COR) is saying the payment to the financially ailing carrier would constitute illegal state aid and should have been approved by the European Commission (EC). The court is expected to rule on the suit later this month.

Air Austral ((IATA) Code: UU, based at St Denis de la Réunion) (AUX) and its regional competitors Air Madagascar (MAD) and Air Mauritius (MAU) have started talks exploring an alliance to jointly serve routes between the islands in the Indian Ocean and to jointly launch new routes to China and India. (AUX) is planning to launch services to Chennai in October, (MAU) already serves Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok and Shanghai Pudong, while (MAD) currently already serves Guangzhou.

September 2012: Corsair International (COR) has lost its case with the administrative court in Saint-Denis de la Réunion which has rejected Corsair (COR)’s complaint about the participation of the regional government of La Réunion in the recapitalization of Air Austral (AUX).

(AUX) and its regional competitors Air Madagascar (MAD) and Air Mauritius (MAU) have started talks exploring an alliance to jointly serve routes between the islands in the Indian Ocean and to jointly launch new routes to China and India. (AUX) is planning to launch services to Chennai Meenambakkam airport (MAA) in October, (MAU) already serves Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok International (HKG) and Shanghai Pudong International (PVG), while (MAD) currently already serves Guangzhou Baiyun (CAN).

November 2012: Orenair (ORB) is about to take delivery of a 3rd ex-Air Austral (AUX) 777-2Q8ER (28676).

December 2013: Iraqi Airways (IRQ) will be the recipient of the 777-200LR (40993) 1st flown in March 2012 and then not taken up by financially struggling Air Austral (AUX). According to a report by "Air Journal," the airplane has been acquired by the government of Iraq which will lease the airplane to its national carrier (IRQ). (IRQ) has also just taken delivery of its 1st A330-200 (1339, YI-AQY) at the end of November. It plans to aggressively expand operations now that the legal disputes with Kuwait have been settled. The 777-200LR in question had previously been rumored to be the airplane has sold to Ethiopian Airlines (ETH) earlier this year but it appears that such reports have been false.

March 2013: Garuda Indonesia (GIA) has wet-leased 777-300ER (35782, F-OYSD)) from Air Austral (AUX) until the end of June to operate additional services on the busy Jakarta to Jeddah route during the Umrah pilgrimage season. (AUX) currently has surplus 777 airplanes available following its significant long-haul route cuts earlier this and last year.

May 2013: Air Austral (AUX) has announced plans to set up a new regional Indian Ocean carrier aimed at transforming the French island of Mayotte into a regional hub. Named Ewa (Dzaoudzi), (AUX) will be 51% owned by (AUX), 20% by the Mayotte Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the rest in the hands of other undisclosed private players. Using start-up capital amounting to EUR4.5million, Ewa's planned network includes Dzaoudzi to: Nossi-Be and Majunga in Madagascar, Moroni Internayional and Anjouan in the Comoros, Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania and Pemba in Mozambique (subject to a code share deal with (LAM) Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique. A planned launch date is set for November, initially with 1 ATR 72-500.

July 2013: Air Austral ((IATA) Code:UU, based at St Denis de la Réunion) is still mulling the delivery of 2 A380-800s but (CEO) Marie-Joseph Malé said, should they be delivered, they will not be configured in an "all-economy" set up as such large capacity without any premium traffic would cannibalize its network and ultimately “really endanger the existence of the airline”. Mr Malé said the order is still on with all options still on the table. However, when asked whether discussions with Airbus Industrie (EDS) had taken place regarding a change in the contract to allow for smaller, more suitable airplanes for (AUX), Mr Malé preferred not to comment. He said that (AUX) has found particular success with premium economy (PY) as it has “a segment of clients that really cannot pay for business (C) but want some level of comfort for flights around 11 hours,” adding that (AUX)'s business (C) class traffic, currently satisfactory at 55 to 60% LF loads, could be improved. Since joining (AUX) in 2012, Mr Malé has overseen numerous cost-saving initiatives which have included the suspension of ultra-long-haul flights to Sydney Kingford Smith and onwards to Nouméa La Tontouta as well as the sale of a 777-200LR and a 777-300ER.

(AUX) currently serves 10 countries, 14 destinations and 20 routes.

June 2014: Air Austral (AUX) is 1 of the European Union (EU)'s furthest flung airlines, although it ranks as the 2nd largest airline in the Indian Ocean by seat capacity. Based in the French territory of La Réunion, it shares with many European airlines a recent history of loss-making and restructuring.

Under (CEO) Marie-Joseph Malé, a former AirFrance (AFA) executive, (AUX)'s restructuring program is now making an impact. The past 2 years have seen an improvement in (AUX)'s indebtedness and now a return to profitability in Fiscal Year 2014. This followed substantial losses prompted by economic weakness in Europe hitting leisure demand for the Indian Ocean French territory and an over-ambitious expansion program.

The turnaround represents a significant achievement, but Mr Malé will no doubt be anxious to ensure that he builds on this and that Air Austral (AUX) can be sustainably profitable. His agenda includes expanding (AUX)'s partnerships, making further cost reductions and finally resolving the problem of what to do about (AUX)'s order for 2 all economy (Y) class A380s.

December 2014: All airlines from Libya have been added to the European Commission (EC)’s aviation safety list, also known as the "airline blacklist," subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union (EU).

The updated (EU) Air Safety List now includes Libya, but otherwise remains unchanged, with no countries removed from the list in this update.

(EU) Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc said: “Recent events in Libya have led to a situation whereby the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is no longer able to fulfill its international obligations with regard to the safety of the Libyan aviation sector. My priority in aviation is passenger safety, which is non-negotiable, and we stand ready to help the Libyan aviation sector as soon as the situation on the ground will allow for this.”

Bulc said she was pleased to see that “progress has been made in a number of countries whose carriers are on list, notably the Philippines, Sudan, Mozambique, and Zambia. Hopefully, this progress can lead to a positive decision in the future.”

The updated air safety list includes all airlines certified in 21 states, for a total of 308 airlines fully banned from (EU) skies: Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon (with the exception of 3 airlines that operate under restrictions and conditions), Indonesia (with the exception of 5 airlines), Kazakhstan (with the exception of 1 airline which operates under restrictions and conditions), Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Nepal, Philippines (with the exception of 2 airlines), Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sudan, and Zambia. The list also includes 2 individual airlines: Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname) and Meridian Airways ((CPB) (Ghana), for an overall total of 310 airlines.

The list also includes 10 airlines that may only operate into the (EU) using specific aircraft types. These are Air Astana (AKZ) (Kazakhstan), Afrijet (FRJ), Gabon Airlines and SN2AG (Gabon), Air Koryo (KOY) (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), Airlift International (AGH) (Ghana), Air Service Comores (the Comoros), Iran Air (IRN), (TAAG) Angolan Airlines (ANG) and Air Madagascar (MAD).

The (EU) air safety list covers airlines that are either considered to be unable to respect international aviation safety standards, or whose Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA)s are deemed unable to provide the necessary safety oversight as foreseen by international aviation safety rules. Some are banned outright from operating to the (EU), while others can only do so under very strict conditions. The list also serves as a tool to warn the traveling public, when traveling in other parts of the world.

The (EU) air safety committee, which draws up the list, consists of aviation safety experts from the Commission, each of the 28 member states of the Union, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

February 2015: News Item A-1: Air Austral ((IATA) Code: UU, based at St Denis de la Reunion) (AUX) is set to take delivery of a pair of "Terrible Teen" 787-8s. 787-8 (34510) will be delivered during the course of this year while the other, (34491), is destined to arrive next year. Both airplanes will be powered by (Trent 1000) engines.

News Item A-2: Air Austral (AUX) is planning to partner (LAM) - Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique ((IATA) Code: TM, based at Maputo) on St Denis de la Réunion to Lisbon via Maputo flights later this year. (LAM), while keen to re-enter the European market, has been unable to do so since 2011 when the country was blacklisted by the European Commission (EC).

News Item A-3: "La Réunion-Roland Garros Airport Hopeful to Have Flights to China," By Luc Citrinot, eTurboNews, February 15, 2015:

St Denis, Reunion Island, remains one of the busiest airports in the Indian Ocean. In 2014, the airport managed to increase its total passengers output by +0.6% to 2.014 million. >80% of all passengers fly to and from France as well as Mauritius. La Réunion Roland Garros is the 2nd busiest airport in the region of the Vanilla Islands just after Mauritius Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. The latter is now approaching 3 million passengers a year.

While Mauritius clearly positions itself as a regional hub for the entire region, the management of La Réunion Roland Garros International Airport has the ambition also to turn the air gateway into an active hub. "We have many assets such as being part of the European Union (EU) with the status of an 'Outer Most Regions' (OMR), which gives us not only financial incentives but also guarantees a quality of service and safety," highlighted Jean-Paul Noël Chairman of the Management Board of Aéroport de la Réunion Roland Garros.

Reunion Island is today linked to 14 destinations, including Marseille and Paris in France, and also Chennai and Bangkok in Asia, or Johannesburg in South Africa, thanks to Air Austral (AUX), the island's home carrier. However, the airport hopes to continue to expand its network and has looked particularly at Asian markets. "We depend, of course, on our home carrier, (AUX), especially as they are due to renew their fleet by acquiring more fuel-efficient airplanes," added Mr Noël.

The airport's authority hopes very much to be able to get direct flights to China as well as more frequencies to China. The need to have direct flights to both countries could be filled with a more efficient stop-over. Although Reunion Island is linked already by two weekly frequencies to Chennai and Bangkok, with the possibility for further connections, the flight is not that practical for passengers. "We have many Reunion people from Chinese origin, and they need with Air Austral (AUX) to make a stopover in Chennai and then change in Bangkok to go to China or Hong Kong. This makes the trip very long between 9 and 11 hours," analyzed the airport's authority.

The airport's management is pushing to see another gateway to be added to Reunion Island's airports network (such as Colombo in Sri Lanka) or for the reestablishment of nonstop flights to Bangkok. "We are sure that we will get in the medium term, direct flights to China, especially as conditions of entrance into La Réunion are now easier for Chinese travelers," said the Chairman of the Board. Air Austral (AUX) (CEO) Marie-Joseph Male already confirmed to look at the possibility to serve the Chinese market with its own airplanes or through a code share agreement. "We still need to further consolidate our financial position as we continue to rebuild our financing capacities. We now look to expand our fleet by 2022 and still study which airplanes should be the most appropriate. But it is true that we face saturation on our flights to South Africa and Asia with our Boeing 737-800," he admitted.

The airport's company is heavily investing with the support of the Reunion Island region and the (EU), some 260 million euro into the airport's expansion as the management forecasts an additional million passengers until 2025. "We already face saturation at peak hours, when all flights arrive from Paris. This is why we are completing the expansion of our terminal by another +500 square meters. It will help adding 7 new check-in counters and put into service a 4th passenger bridge able to accommodate large airplanes such as the Airbus A380," added Jean-Paul Noël. The expanded terminal will be put into service by the 2nd half of 2015.

Before 2020, the 2nd phase of the airport terminal will be completed as well as the expansion of the apron and a new maintenance center. Urgent work is due to start soon on new safety rules in conformity with (EU) directives, which means that some other expansion works are likely to be slightly delayed. They are also thoughts with regional authorities about the reorganization of the area around the airport. "We want to create a new commercial and industrial zone, and a hotel would be a welcomed addition. It is indeed a priority," said Jean-Paul Noël.

News Item A-4: Air Austral (AUX) currently operates 9 airplanes, and serves 10 countries, to 14 destinations, on 19 routes and 18 daily flights.

March 2015: News Item A-1: Air Lease Corporation (ALE) announced long-term lease agreements with Air Austral (AUX) for 2 new Boeing 777-300ERs. Both airplanes are from (ALE)’s order book with Boeing and are scheduled to deliver in the fall of 2016.

May 2015: The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) airlines will sign a cooperation agreement on June 18 establishing the ‘Vanilla Alliance’ aimed at improving air services between (IOC) member states and international connectivity to the region.

The Vanilla Alliance will be made up of Air Austral (AUX) (Reunion), Air Madagascar (MAD), Air Mauritius (MAU), Air Seychelles (ASY), and the Ministry of Transport of the Union of Comoros (until the appointment of a carrier in that country). The airlines have agreed to “jointly defend their common interests and enhance international connectivity [to, from, and within the] islands, while taking care to preserve the attractiveness of passenger fares.”

Air Austral (AUX) (CEO) Marie-Joseph Malé, who is also President of the (IOC) Airline Committee, said that the (IOC)-led initiative represented "a major turning point for regional air transport."

In parallel, the civil aviation authorities of the (IOC) member states are, through the (IOC) civil aviation committee, exploring the possibility of establishing a shared regulatory framework, as well as strengthening government competency in areas such as training and safety.

The Vanilla Alliance idea stemmed from an international symposium on air transport in the Indian Ocean region hosted by the (IOC) in May 2013. Following that symposium, the (IOC) published a report in January last year called ‘Indianocéania's Wings’ which demonstrated the measurable and sustainable added value of a coordinated approach to air transport.

September 2015: News Item A-1: The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) airlines have signed a multilateral cooperation agreement establishing the Vanilla Alliance, which is aimed at improving air services between (IOC) member states and international connectivity to the region. The alliance is made up of Air Austral (AUX), Air Madagascar (MAD), Air Seychelles (ASY), Inter Ile Air, and Air Mauritius (MAU).

The alliance offers >50 destinations, operates a fleet of 30 aircraft, and employs about 6,000 staff. It is expected to transport >2.3 million passengers a year.

Initially, the alliance will develop attractive fares, schedule connectivity, optimize code shares, as well as optimize resources such as fleet and airport facilities.

It is understood that these small Indian Ocean flag carriers were faced with economical challenges over the years and feared tough competition from Gulf carriers on some routes, such as Emirates Airline (EAD)’s double daily A380 services from Dubai to Mauritius.

“The islands and airlines of the region share similar geographical realities, hence have a similar need for reinforcing air links. By joining our efforts, we will be able to tap synergies and optimize our resources and to improve inter-island air connectivity,” Air Mauritius (MAU) board officer, (Raja) Indradev Buton said.

News Item A-2: Air Madagascar (MAD) intends to wet-lease an Air Austral (AUX) 777-200LR.

October 2015: Air Austral (AUX) is to lease a French 737 for Mayotte flights.

March 2016: News Item A-1: Air Austral (AUX) has moved its planned Boeing 787-8 debut forward, which will begin from June 05, 2016 on regional routes, instead of June 10, 2016.

Latest updates to planned 262-seater, Air Austral (AUX) Boeing 787-8 operation as follows:

From June 05, 2016 to June 09, 2016, Boeing 787-8 schedule as follows:

* St Denis de la Reunion to Antananarivo, June 07 2016

* St Denis de la Reunion to Dzaoudzi UU274/275, except June 07, 2016

* St Denis de la Reunion to Mauritius UU102/103 (tentatively scheduled as inaugural 787 flight).

Business (C) Class is sold out as Premium Economy ("Classe Confort") (PY) on regional flights, except Mauritius (sold as all-Economy (Y) only).

From June 10, 2016, 787-8 to operate following service:

* June 10, 2016 Dzaoudzi to Paris (CDG) 2x-weekly (service operates via Nairobi on outbound from September 06, 2016)

* June 10, 2016 St Denis de la Reunion to Dzaoudzi UU274/275, 36x-daily (Operational day for Boeing 787-8 varies on certain weeks; daily 787 from October 31, 2016)

* October 30, 2016 St Denis de la Reunion to Mauritius UU108/109, Day 7 (Except December 12, 2016 to February 04, 2017, operating until March 05, 2017)

* November 02, 2016 St Denis de la Reunion to Bangkok 2x-weekly nonstop, replacing 1-stop 737-800 via Chennai.

News Item A-2: Air France Industries (AFI) (KLM) (E&M) has won a wide-ranging contract with Air Austral (AUX) for support of 2 Boeing 787s scheduled to enter service in spring 2016. The agreement includes component support, Engineering & Maintenance Control services, plus light and line maintenance.

April 2016: Réunion Island leisure carrier, Air Austral (AUX) has canceled an order for 2 Airbus A380s, which was placed in 2009. "We can confirm the cancellation of these 2 A380s, as our customer has had a change in strategy,” an Airbus (EDS) spokesperson said.

(AUX), the French airline in the Indian Ocean had planned to fit the A380s with an 840Y-seat all-economy class configuration, a record capacity for civil aviation. This configuration led to them to be widely labeled by the media as "flying sardine cans." The aircraft had planned to operate from Saint Denis de la Réunion to Paris Charles de Gaulle.

(AUX) had repeatedly delayed delivery, prompting speculation that cancellation would be likely.

Emirates Airline (EAD) offers the most seats of any A380 operator, a 615-seat version in a 2-class configuration.

“We have a backlog of 133 A380s. And since 2013, we have had follow-up orders of 75 aircraft for the A380s,” the Airbus (EDS) spokesperson said.

Airbus (EDS) also identified Emirates (EAD) as the undisclosed customer for 2 A380s on March 31. The order was valued at $856 million at list prices. “But these 2 aircraft for (EAD) are not related to the cancellation from (AUX),” the spokesperson said.

(AUX) operates 2 Boeing 737-800s, 3 777-300ERs and 3 ATR 72s.

The company expects delivery of the 1st of 2 former overweight Boeing 787s within the next several weeks. These aircraft, which have been in storage for several years, were nicknamed “terrible teens” for their assembly struggles and places near the start of the production run. The original customers balked because the aircraft were too heavy, limiting their range.

The 1st Air Austral (AUX) 787 services should launch June 5 from Saint Denis to Mauritius.

May 2016: Air Austral (AUX) has taken delivery of its 1st Boeing 787, becoming the 1st French operator of the type.

Van Rex Gallard, Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) VP Sales Latin America, Caribbean & Africa said, “The 787 Dreamliner will complement Air Austral (AUX)’s growing long-haul fleet, made up of 777s and now a 787, as well as its transcontinental network to Europe and Asia.” (AUX) announced the order for 2 787-8 Dreamliners in 2015.

(AUX) was founded in 1975 and operates a fleet of 9 airplanes to >10 destinations world wide.

April 2017: Air Madagascar (MAD) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to create a strategic partnership with Reunion-based Air Austral (AUX), under a deal which is expected to be finalized by May 31.

(AUX), which is already partnered with (MAD) through the Vanilla Alliance, was selected as (MAD)’s preferred partner in March after beating off a rival bid from Star (SAL) Alliance carrier Ethiopian Airlines (ETH).

In an update released April 4, (MAD) said the Madagascan Finance & Transport Ministers have now signed an (MOU) with Air Austral (AUX) (CEO) Marie-Joseph Malé. “This is an important step towards a final agreement. We hope that this long-term partnership will return the company to stability and help (MAD) regain its position at the center of national, regional and international aviation development. The business plan proposed by (AUX) will allow us to develop commercial relationships with major international companies,” Air Madagascar (MAD) Chairman Léon Rajaobelina said.

(AUX)’s Malé said the agreement signaled a turning point for the 2 companies, although he added there are several more steps yet to clear. >30 companies were interested in a strategic partnership with (MAD), although only 7 of these were pre-qualified to submit an offer.

(AUX) and (ETH) were both invited to more detailed talks, but (MAD)’s board decided to recommend (AUX) to the Madagascan government as the preferred bidder.

October 2017: News Item A-1: "Air Austral Signs Agreement to Take 49% of Air Madagascar by Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com ATWOnline, October 10, 2017.

Reunion-based Air Austral (AUX) has finalized its equity joint venture with Air Madagascar (MAD), agreeing to take a 49% stake alongside the Madagascan government which will maintain a controlling 51% shareholding.

(AUX), which is already partnered with (MAD) through the Vanilla Alliance, was selected as (MAD)’s preferred partner in March after beating a rival short-listed bid from Star (STM) Alliance carrier Ethiopian Airlines (ETH).

Building on this initial selection, the 2 Indian Ocean carriers signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form the partnership in April.
In a joint press release, the 2 airlines said the (MOU) was firmed October 9, cementing the terms and conditions for the joint venture. They said this marks the start of an “interim phase.” The strategic partnership will be fully finalized at the end of October, when Air Austral (AUX) acquires 49% of (MAD), closing the deal.

(MAD) will go through a 2-stage turnaround over the next 10 years. During the 1st 3 years, (MAD) is aiming to recover and to lay foundations for future growth. After this, (MAD) will go through a growth phase, expanding its fleet and opening new routes.

(AUX) (CEO) and former SkyTeam (STM) Alliance Managing Director Marie-Joseph Malé said the 2 companies have spent 6 months refining their business plan. “We are now more determined than ever to join forces for our development and to strengthen our positions in the Indian Ocean,” Malé said. Malé added that the agreement marks a turning point for the 2 companies, but he cautioned that there is still a lot of complex work to be done. Under the joint venture, the 2 airlines will focus on regional development and traffic growth.

The Madagascan government will continue to hold 51% of its national carrier and has committed to upgrading local airport infrastructure.
(AUX) will select (MAD)’s (CEO) and will be responsible for day-to-day operations, but the government will appoint the Chairman. (AUX) has also committed to invest $40 million in its new partner.

>30 companies were interested in a strategic partnership with (MAD), although only 7 of these were pre-qualified to submit an offer.

(AUX) and (MAD) are both Indian Ocean carriers. They are also joined together through the Vanilla Alliance, alongside Air Mauritius (MAU) and Air Seychelles (ASY).

The Indian Ocean Commission Vanilla Islands of Comoros, Réunion, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles started pushing connectivity in 2012 and held a conference on regional air services in May 2013. This gave birth to the “Wings of the Indian Ocean” strategy, which was published in January 2014, calling for stronger inter-island links. In July 2014, 2 committees were created to pursue the project, 1 for the airlines and 1 for their civil aviation authorities.

(AUX), (MAD), (MAU) and (ASY) teamed up to form the airline part of this in 2015, launching the Vanilla Alliance under the leadership of Air Austral (AUX) (CEO) Malé.

News Item A-2: Air Austral (AUX) commenced services between Reunion (RUN) and Marseille (MRS) on October 12. Flights on the 8,795 km sector will operate up to 2x-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) on (AUX)’s 777-300s. XL Airways France offers the direct competition, with it currently serving the airport pair 2x-weekly, although its frequency drops to 1x-weekly at the end of October. Marseille is the 2nd French destination served by (AUX) from Reunion, with the other being Paris.

Fleet:
(definitions)

Click below for photos:
AUX-737-300.jpg
AUX-737-33A
AUX-737-89M-2010-12
AUX-777-200LR - 2015-02
AUX-777-200LR-2011-08
AUX-777-2Q8ER
AUX-777-2Q8ER-2010-12
AUX-777-2Q8ER-N
AUX-777-3Q8ER-APR09
AUX-777-3Q8ER-JUN09
AUX-787 - 2016-05.jpg

November 2017:

0 737-33A (CFM56-3C1) (2679-27452, /94 F-ODZY), EX-(AWW), NOW WITH VISTA GEORGIA (AJD). REPLACED BY NEW 737-89M. 133Y.

0 737-39MQC (CFM56-3C1) (2906-28898, /97 F-ODZZ), RTND, ST (EUE) 2005-07. 133Y.

0 737-53A (CFM56-3C1) (1943-24877, /90 F-ODZJ), EX-(AWW)/(EUR), TO BE REPLACED BY NEW 737-800. RTND TO LESSOR 2011-01. 118Y.

2 737-89M (CFM56-7B26/3) (3484-40910, /10 F-ONGA "MARIUS AND ARY LEBLOND" 2010-12; 3504-40911, /10 F-ONGB "RAPHAEL BARQUISSEA" 2010-12 - SEE PHOTO - - "AUX-737-89M-2010-12"), TO REPLACE THE 737-33A & 737-53A. WITH WINGLETS. 27C; 144Y.

1 ORDER 767-300ER, LSD.

0 777-2Q8ER IGW (PW4090) (229-29908, /99 F-OPAR "MARCEL GOULETTE," 2003-05; 246-28676, /99 F-ORUN "PIERRE LAGOURGUE;" 517-29402, /05 F-OMAY 2005-05), EX-(EIY), (ILF) 6 YR LSD. 28676; TO (ORB) 2012-12. 2 RTND. 14F, 34C, 316Y.

0 777-29MLR (GE90-110B1) (40955, F-OLRA, 2011-08; 40993, F-OLRB, 2012-08), 440 PAX.

2 777-3Q8ER (GE90-115BL2) (778-35782, /08 F-OSYD "C LECONTE DE LISLE" 2009-04 - - SEE PHOTO - - "AUX-777-3Q8ER-2009-04;" 786-35783, F-ONOU "C LEON DIERX" 2009-05), (ILF) 8 YR LSD/MACQUARIE LSD. 35782; WET-LST (GIA) 2013-03 - 2013-06). 18C; 40 PY; 384Y.

2 ORDERS (2016-10) 777-300ER, (ALE) LSD:

1 777-39MER (GE90-115BL2) (912-37434, /10 F-OREU), (ALE) LSD 2011-01. 42C; 24PY; 317Y.

2 787-8 (TRENT 1000) (34491, /16; 34510, /15), "TERRIBLE TEEN" 262 PAX.

0 MD-83.

0 ORDERS (2014-02) A380-861 (GP7270), 840Y: 2 ORDERS CANCELED.

0 F28-1000 (SPEY 515), RTND.

1 ATR 72-500 (PW127F) (650, /00 F-OHSF), 64Y.

2 ATR 72-500 (PW127M) (813, /08 F-OZSE; 855, /09 F-OMRU, 2015-05), 64Y.

Management:
(definitions)

Click below for photos:
AUX-GERARD ETHEVE-2009-11

GERARD ETHEVE, CHAIRMAN & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO)
(getheve@air-austral.com) (SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "AUX-GERARD ETHEVE-2009-11" WITH THE (CEO) HOLDING THE A380).

MARIE-JOSEPH MALE, GENERAL DIRECTOR, EX-(AFA) (2012-04).

MICHEL FRAPPIER DE MONTBENOIT, DEPUTY GENERAL DIRECTOR.

JOSEPH BREMA, FINANCE DIRECTOR & DEPUTY GENERAL DIRECTOR.

JEAN MARC GRAZZIANI, SENIOR VP SALES & MARKETING.

JEAN-PIERRE DEGRAEVE, DIRECTOR TECHNICAL & INDUSTRIAL (RUNDDUU),
(jpdegraeve@airaustral.com).

CHRISTIAN JOBERT, MAINTENANCE MANAGER (1997-05).

J SABETTA, TECHNICAL SUPERVISOR, PRODUCTION.

 
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