Madagascar to Unban SA's Airlink 'Soon', Says Foreign Minister

analysis

Airlink, which had been flying between South Africa and Madagascar regularly for years, was the only airline not allowed to return to the route after Madagascar lifted its Covid-19 travel ban in April.

Madagascar's foreign minister has assured President Cyril Ramaphosa that his government will allow the South African private commercial airline Airlink to resume flying to the Indian Ocean island state "soon", after a mysterious and costly ban which has lasted for more than three months.

Foreign Minister Richard Randriamandrato, acting as special envoy for Malagasy President Andry Rajoelina, met Ramaphosa in Pretoria on July 5.

"The foreign minister informed our President that flights between the two countries will resume soon," South Africa's ambassador to Madagascar, Sisa Ngombane, told Daily Maverick.

He added that the foreign minister had also conveyed the message that: "President Rajoeolina wanted to improve diplomatic ties and will soon nominate an ambassador."

Airlink, which had been flying between South Africa and Madagascar regularly for years, was the only airline not allowed to return to the route after Madagascar lifted its Covid-19 travel ban in April.

Pretoria and Airlink CEO Rodger Foster suspected the main reason for this effective ban was to put pressure on South...

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