Madagascar Airlines (MGY, Antananarivo) plans to join IATA's Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) by June/July 2023 as soon as it can settle the USD3.5 million liability in unflown tickets issued by Air Madagascar and Tsaradia.

This was the word from new CEO Thierry de Bailleul, who spoke at the Syndicat des Enterprises des Tour Operating (SETO) forum in Deauville, France, on May 10. "We will not open the BSP until we have this sum provisioned. So be reassured: any ticket issued is refundable and will be refunded at the request of each of you, "he told the tour operators present, reported the French travel trade publicationTourMaG. A spokesperson for the airline explained to ch-aviation: "The prerequisite for this entry to the BSP is to raise the amount of the deposit".

As reported, Madagascar Airlines last month obtained its own air operator's certificate (AOC) and operating license (OL), taking over the functions of Air Madagascar and its subsidiary Tsaradia which are in "redressement judiciaire"- a transitional bankruptcy protection period that forms part of the airline's restructuring plan.

Meanwhile, De Bailleul has confirmed to ch-aviation that South Africa's Fly Modern Ark (Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) is one of several companies approached for the ad-hoc wet lease of aircraft. This is understood to be for a CRJ900 for use on the route between Antananarivo and Mauritius, and domestically.

ch-aviation has been told that FMA was approached by Madagascar's Transport Minister Valery Ramonjavelo to assist Madagascar Airlines in restructuring and renewing its fleet, just as it has been contracted to do for LAM - Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (TM, Maputo). However, De Bailleul said this was not true. FMA was "one of the companies" Madagascar Airlines was talking to for an ad-hoc lease. "Nothing else," he said.

Ramonjavelo did not respond to requests for comment.

In March, the Malagasy Ministry of Transport announced the expected delivery before the end of June 2023 of the first of three E190-E2s leased from Azorra Aviation. Madagascar Airlines has scheduled the introduction of the E2s on selected domestic flights from the capital for the start of the IATA winter season from October 29, 2023. The Embraer (EMB, São José dos Campos Professor Urbano Ernesto Stumpf) aircraft will replace the airline's existing ATR72s on services to Antsiranana and Nosy-Be. Two more of the type are to follow in 2024, according to a long-term lease signed with the US lessor in Antananarivo on December 7, 2022.