Madagascar remains uncompetitive

While Madagascar continues to see interest from an enquiry perspective, the majority are not being converted into bookings due to uncompetitive prices on packages and airfare.

Lize Roodt, a Travel Counsellors ITC, explains that packages are very expensive due to the small number of operators that sell the destination. “Packages to Madagascar can be very pricey for what you actually get -  would say that the value for money is not quite there yet. However, it is a fascinating place,” she says.

Currently, Airlink is the only airline offering direct flights between South Africa and Madagascar. The airline operates daily flights to the capital, Antananarivo, as well as weekly flights to Nosy Be. During peak season, Airlink increases frequencies and capacity to Nosy Be. Ethiopian Airlines operates flights from its hub in Addis Ababa to Nosy Be on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

According to Rodger Foster, md and ceo of Airlink, another significant reason why the market between South Africa and Madagascar is small is Madagascar’s political instability. “This is an ongoing deterrent to direct foreign investment and tourism. The recent plague scare, albeit quite dramatised, was a setback as well.”

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