Madagascar Airlines will introduce the Embraer E190-E2 into its fleet next year. On Wednesday, the African airline previously known as Air Madagascar signed an agreement with lessor Azorra for three aircraft. The announcement was done in the presence of the country’s president. Madagascar Airlines to lease three Embraer E2s from Azorra.

The first Embraer will join the carrier next year, with two more to follow in 2024. They will operate on the domestic network in Madagascar, which lies in the Indian Ocean East of the African continent. The carrier currently operates a fleet of one ATR 42 and five -72s on this network, but introducing jets will improve its quality.

At the same time, the Embraers open up new options to expand the international network, as the E190-E2 has the range to operate to Dubai. Madagascar Airlines currently uses a single Airbus A340-300 for its international services since the lease of a Boeing 737-800 was terminated in January 2021. The airline has had a keen interest in the Embraer E2. The airframer dispatched the E190-E2 Tech Shark to Madagascar in March for a demonstration flight out of the capital Antananarivo.

Madagascar went into a strict lockdown during the pandemic and only reopened its borders in March this year. The effect on tourism and air travel has been enormous and Madagascar Airlines was dependent on its domestic services only. Now, the carrier is in recovery mode and rebuilding. Since this month, it has a new CEO with Thierry de Bailleul, whose previous airline experience is with Emirates as Director General in France and with Qatar Airways as Vice President of Sales in Europe.

For Fort Lauderdale-based Azorra, the agreement with Madagascar Airlines mean that it will add the Embraer E190-E2 to its portfolio. In January, the lessor signed an agreement with Embraer for twenty E2s plus thirty options. The agreement offers the flexibility to purchase both the E190-E2 and E195-E2. Embraer’s order book for Q3 only shows twenty E195-E2s. On the Madagascar/Azorra agreement, Embraer says that it will only announce the order when it is completed.

Azorra’s fleet already includes many first-generation E-jets. This year, the lessor acquired forty E1s from Nordic Aviation Capital after the Danish company entered into a restructuring.

(picture via Jon Howell on LinkedIn)

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News. From January 2023, he will add a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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