Air Austral (UU, St. Denis de la Réunion) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) for the purchase of three A220-300s.

According to the Journal de l'île de la Réunion, airline chief executive Marie-Joseph Malé said the trio will feature a total of 132 seats (12 in business and 120 in economy class) and will deliver in November 2020 followed by December 2020, and then March 2021. Collectively, they will replace the Reunionaise carrier's existing fleet of two B737-800s and one ATR72-500.

ch-aviation fleets advanced shows Air Austral also operates two B787-8s and three B777-300(ER)s, all of which will be replaced from 2023 onwards. The airline is currently conducting a fleet renewal strategy and is expected to make a decision in early 2020.

Strategic partner Air Madagascar (MD, Antananarivo) has also chosen the type for its own narrowbody/regional jet renewal plan. According to Air Transport World, talks are currently underway for the Malagasy national carrier, in which Air Austral controls a 49% stake, to lease three A220-300s. There, deliveries could take place as early as the first quarter of 2021.

Air Madagascar operates one B737-800 and two A340-300s while its Tsaradia (TZ, Antananarivo) subsidiary operates four ATR72-500s, two -600s, and three DHC-6-300s.