Air Madagascar (MD, Antananarivo) is teetering on the brink of collapse following a 10 day-old strike by disgruntled staff the Malagasy Minister of Transport and Tourism, Ulrich Andriatiana, has warned.

Unable to operate all but a few flights, Andriatiana told the Madagascar-Tribune that Air Madagascar had racked up losses of USD3.5 million since the industrial action began. The added burden comes at a time when the carrier is already unable to meet its financial obligations on time, among which are employee salaries. As a consequence, he said, the state is considering laying-off some of its short-term employees as a means of lightening the load.

Echoing Andriatiana's sentiments, CEO Haja Raelison has described the airline's present situation as "very serious".

"If this situation continues, this may end up in a cessation of payments. For now, it is difficult to say when it will happen, it will depend on the financial situation. But the situation is very serious," he told Reuters.

For their part, workers claim they are fed up with the airline's alleged poor governance and mismanagement adding that they will not return to work until concrete action has been taken to address their grievances.

While the majority of flights have been grounded, some long haul A340-300 flights have operated thanks to technical assistance from engineers based in Mauritius.