Air Austral is a French airline with its headquarters in Sainte-Marie, Reunion. The airline’s main base of flight operations is Roland Garros Airport. It operates scheduled services from Réunion to France, South Africa, Thailand, India and a number of destinations in the Indian Ocean.
Air Austral was created in 1974. It was Réunion’s first commercial airline, known as Réunion Air Services (RAS). By 1977 RAS had started regional services from Sainte-Marie to Mayotte. RAS became Air Réunion in 1986. In 1990 Sematra, a company 46% owned by the local councils of Réunion, purchased Air Réunion. A month later, Air Réunion became Air Austral. In 2003, Air Austral launched its first long-haul service between Réunion and Paris.