The Vanilla Alliance (French: Alliance Vanille) is an airline alliance formed in September 2015. The alliance is the 4th largest in the world as of 2018, trailing Oneworld, Star Alliance, and SkyTeam. All of the airlines within the alliance operate in the Indian Ocean region and are based in sovereign states that are members of the Indian Ocean Commission or French overseas territories in the Indian Ocean.
|Launch date||21 September 2015|
|Annual passengers (M)||2.3|
|Management||Marie-Joseph Malé, president|
In August 2010, Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, the Comoros, Réunion, and Mayotte united under the brand "Vanilla Islands" to promote tourism to the entire region. In 2012, the Maldives Minister for Tourism was invited to discuss joining as a member of the Vanilla Islands tourism body. But after a meeting of ministers in 2016, the organization confirmed that the Maldives was not a member of the group. It is noteworthy that there are no direct flights between Velana International Airport in the Maldives, and any of the member islands. The initial goals of the Vanilla Alliance include increased air service between the islands, more attractive fares, and optimization of codesharing. L'Estrac also suggested the creation of a new low-cost regional airline to attract more tourists. Ultimately, the alliance wishes to increase tourism, trade, and business ties in the region. The founding members are Air Austral, Air Madagascar, Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles and Int'Air Îles.
In 2012 the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) hosted a conference on the state of air travel within the Indian Ocean region. It was determined that the current business model of the airlines was unsustainable and that ticket prices for regional air travel were too high, compared to intra-Europe and intra-Caribbean fares.
From 2–3 May 2013, the IOC held another conference in Mauritius on the problems with regional air travel. In January 2014, the Commission published a plea entitled "Wings of the Indian Ocean", in which it called for a joint strategy on regional air transport and noted the economic benefits it would have. The IOC held another conference in July 2014 on tourism and air travel, after which a committee of airline officials and another of civil aviation authorities were created to form the alliance.
On 20 May 2015, the Council of Ministers of the IOC met in Antananarivo to commit to signing an agreement for the creation of the alliance. The airlines were expected to sign it on 18 June, however this date was postponed due to a strike at Air Madagascar.
On 21 September 2015, founding airlines Air Austral, Air Madagascar, Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles and Int'Air Îles signed the pact in Antananarivo. The signing was attended by Secretary General Jean-Claude de l'Estrac of the Indian Ocean Commission and Malagasy president Hery Rajaonarimampianina.
|Air Austral||21 September 2015|
|Air Madagascar||21 September 2015|
|Air Mauritius||21 September 2015|
|Air Seychelles||21 September 2015|
|Int'Air Îles||21 September 2015|
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- ^ "Indian Ocean airlines seal cooperation with Vanilla Alliance". Air Mauritius. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- ^ a b c d "ACCORD DE CRÉATION DE L’ALLIANCE VANILLE : L’opportunité d’une compagnie aérienne régionale low-cost évoquée". Le Mauricien. 22 September 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- ^ "Les ailes de l'Indian Océanie: Plaidoyer pour une stratégie régionale du transport aérien". Archived 26 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Indian Ocean Commission. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- ^ Amla, Hajira (26 May 2015). "Indian Ocean airlines, including Seychelles, to sign ‘Vanilla Alliance’ cooperation agreement". Seychelles News Agency. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
Media related to Vanilla Alliance at Wikimedia Commons