|Hubs||Roland Garros Airport|
|Headquarters||Roland Garros Airport
|Key people||Marie-Joseph Malé (director)|
Air Austral is a French airline with its headquarters at Roland Garros Airport in Sainte-Marie, Réunion, France. The airline's main base of flight operations is Roland Garros Airport. It operates scheduled services from Réunion to metropolitan France, South Africa, Thailand, India and a number of destinations in the Indian Ocean. The company has 900 employees.
Air Austral was created in December 1974 by local businessman Gérard Ethève. It was Réunion's first commercial airline, known as Réunion Air Services (RAS). By August 1977 RAS had started regional services from Sainte-Marie to Mayotte with a 32-seat Hawker Siddeley HS 748 turboprop. RAS became Air Réunion in December, 1986.
In October 1990 Sematra, a company 46% owned by the local councils of Réunion with the remaining shares owned by banks and other private partners, purchased Air Réunion. A month later, Air Réunion became Air Austral. Two months later, Air Austral bought its first Boeing 737-500. Another 737-500 was acquired in 1994, and in 1997 the airline purchased a 737-300QC, which enabled both passenger and cargo only traffic. In 2000 the airline took delivery of an ATR 72-500, a short-haul turboprop. By then, Air Austral operated from both Roland Garros Airport in Sainte-Marie and Pierrefonds Airport in Saint Pierre with scheduled services to Mayotte, Johannesburg, South Africa, Comoros, Mauritius, the Seychelles, and three destinations in Madagascar (Antananarivo, Tamatave, Nosy Be, Majunga). In 2003, Air Austral launched its first long-haul service between Réunion and Paris, with two Boeing 777-200ERs. The two Boeing 777s were joined by a third Boeing 777-200ER in 2005. A second long-haul route from Réunion to Marseille and Lyon was established.
In April 2009, Air Austral started a new service to Sydney and New Caledonia, thus opening up a new route between Paris and Sydney via Réunion. The airline also acquired two Boeing 777-300ERs. In November, it placed a firm order for two all-economy class 840-seat Airbus A380s, for delivery in 2014. These are intended for Air Austral's Réunion-Paris flights.
In April 2012, Air Austral was unable to pay for a new 777-200LR awaiting delivery. The company is looking to sell on the plane instead of taking delivery. Following this development, Air Austral announced in May 2012 that it would defer or cancel its order for 2 Airbus A380s, with a decision to be made by the end of June 2012.
This is a list of destinations served by Air Austral as of January 2013:
Air Austral's average fleet age, as of December 2012 is 4.6 years and consists of the following aircraft:
- Previously operated
Classes of Service
- "Un ex-patron de Skyteam aux commandes d'Air Austral (in French)". www.challenges.fr. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
- "Géographie." Sainte-Marie. Retrieved on 7 October 2009.
- "Legal notices." Air Austral. Retrieved on 7 9 September 2010. "Air Austral Anonymous company with executive board and supervisory board With a capital of 19 206 900€ Roland Garros Airport area 97438 Sainte Marie or BP 611 - 97472 Saint-Denis Cedex."
- Air-Austral renfort de la flotte TourMag.com 2 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-04
- "30 years of history in the Indian ocean sky". Air Austral. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
- Air Austral brochure for Australian passengers[dead link], April 2009. Retrieved 2010-11-04
- "Air Austral signs firm order for two single class A380s", Airbus press release 17 November 2009. Retrieved 2010-11-04
- "F-OLRA Air Austral Boeing 777-29M(LR) - cn 40955 / ln 952 - Planespotters.net Just Aviation". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
- "European woes force changes for the better at Indian Ocean carriers, with Air Austral the latest", CAPA article, 24 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-29
- [dead link]
- "Air Austral Fleet Details and History - Planespotters.net Just Aviation". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
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