Meet The Winners: Tatamo Rakotozafy

Tatamo Rakotozafy, Head of Aviation Marketing at Ravinala Airports Madagascar, speaks to Routes about how important connectivity is for driving economic growth for the country, recent air service successes and what it means to be named the winner of the Rising Star category of the 2023 Routes Awards.

As the first woman to occupy the role, Rakotozafy has driven forward a number of initiatives including government lobbying and the establishment of the airport’s first financial incentive program to increase air connectivity to the destination.

Rakotozafy highlighted the wider importance of air connectivity for a country that faces persistent poverty: “For me, route development is a source of inspiration and impact. Beyond meetings and analyses, it's a position that inspires passion and transforms lives.

“My vision of route development is twofold: to connect Malagasy people with each other, to connect Madagascar to the world and to reposition the country on the world map by developing a strategy that aims to make us a reference in airport development in the Indian Ocean by 2025.”

In her role, Rakotozafy has been instrumental in establishing a common strategy with government stakeholders to develop tourism through increased air connectivity.

Jimmy Joharison, executive director of the Madagascar National Tourism Board, said: “Her involvement in strengthening the links between the airport and the National Tourism Board since 2019 has been remarkable.

“In addition, her ability to provide high quality analysis and data to develop tourism development strategies has enabled progress on technical issues and in decision making. Our collaborative efforts have resulted in concrete actions, such as joint participation in the development of air routes and tourism fairs.”

Against a politically complex environment and the absence of an open skies policy, Madagascar Airports passenger numbers have been growing on average 8% each year. This growth has been supported by the reinstatement of all existing routes before 2019 and the opening of new routes to European destinations including Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic.

The network planning community recognised Rakotozafy’s ability to overcome challenges that may stifle growth for the airports. Lufthansa’s head of planning, Andrea Daskulidis, said: “Despite encountering technical hurdles such as bilateral agreements, Tatamo has always shown a problem-solving attitude, seeking solutions to move our initiatives forward. Our professional relationship has shown remarkable resilience since our first meeting in 2020, amidst a period of crisis. Tatamo has maintained unwavering dedication and focus, underscoring her commitment to our shared goals.”