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Black list: the ground personnel of Air Madagascar blames the French DGAC

The company will go to great lengths to be taken off the blacklist

The ground personnel of Air Madagascar accuses the French DGAC of maintaing their company on the blacklist. In response they have decided to stop assisting flights coming from Paris, causing the diversion of an Air France plane and the cancellation of a Corsair flight. An act of desperation from the employees who are very worried about their company’s future.

Rédigé par Laury-Anne CHOLEZ translated by Joséphine Foucher le Lundi 1 Septembre 2014

Black list: the ground personnel of Air Madagascar blames the French DGAC
Black list: the ground personnel of Air Madagascar blames the French DGAC
The ground personnel of the Air Madagascar is sending a cry of desperation.

Accusing the French DGAC of being responsible of keeping their company of the Annex B of the European blacklist, the employees went on strike last week, refusing to assist the planes coming from French airline companies.

"Our demand is simple, take Air Madagascar off the Annex B, that’s all” requires their spokesperson Rado Rabarilala quoted by RFI.

“It is the French DGAC that put Air Madagascar in this situation, so it is the sole responsibility of the General Direction of French Civil Aviation to take us out of this abyss” he says.

Last Tuesday August 26, an Air France flight linking Paris to the Ivato airport, that serves the capital Antananarivo, was diverted a few minutes before landing to the Reunion island.

The company that serves Madagascar 4 times a week, was forced to dispatch its 310 passengers by small groups towards their final destination. And had to charter a special flight on Sunday to repatriate its passengers who were stranded at the Ivato airport.

Fearing suffering a similar fate, Corsair preferred canceling its flight on Wednesday August 27th and protect all 129 passengers by putting them on Air Madagascar flights that could land at the airport.

It also chartered a special flight to recover, on Sunday, its passengers left on the island. Air Austral however, has not been affected.

The situation was back under control on Friday, thanks to the intervention of law enforcement authorities.

Air Madagascar blacklisted since 2011

The event epitomizes once again the very precarious situation of Air Madagascar. But these employees can’t accuse French companies of being the only antagonists.

In fact, these companies have no say concerning the creation of the blacklist.

This inventory is put in place by a committee decided within the European commission, that also includes the direction of the civil aviation of all EU nations.

Air Madagascar is on this blacklist since 2011 and has never been taken off. The last inspection, from last February 10 through 13, did not result in lifting the sanctions.

But the company isn’t the only one at stake. The local civil aviation (ACM) also lacks qualified ressources to correctly implement an appropriate surveillance program.

In the end, these bans cost a lot to the company, of which the financial situation is far from flourishing. According to the latest figures published by the website Express de Madagascar, the company shows a 100 million dollar deficit.

Because in order to serve Europe, it is forced to rent Airbuses A 340 registered in Island with a crew coming from the company Air Atlanta Icelandic.

It also lacks aircrafts to successfully carry out its flight program leaving from Marseille towards the Comoros Islands.

In the end, boycotting French companies has absolutely no effect.

All the more, this has not pleased the DGAC. “There are international agreement between countries and they must be followed” states its spokesperson. “Next time, we will carry out a diplomatic action.”

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