Air Austral was created in October 1974 to serve the Éparses islands and began its commercial operations in March 1975. It was renamed Air Reunion in 1986, but the company took its present name in 1990 when Air France became a participant in its capital funding. In 1997, it inaugurated direct flights to Harare, Zimbabwe, a destination that it abandoned in 2000. The airline began to serve the Roissy-Charles -de-Gaulle airport in Paris on June 28, 2003 by means of two Boeing 777-200ER.
The cities of Lyon and Marseille are serviced twice per week since November 1 2005. Starting e March 27, 2007, the airline serves Toulouse with three flights a week, via Marseille. On February 11, 2011, the airline started connecting flights between Bordeaux and Nantes two times per week. Beginning in April 2011, the airline serves Asia and countries such as Cambodia, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Laos, the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Malaysia, after signing a partnership with the Thai company Thai Airways International. The passengers of the airline in Asia must therefore make a stopover in Bangkok to arrive at their final destination.
In May 15, 2012, The airline announced the deletion of some fifty destinations and the deletion of all lines to the metropolis except Paris, which will be reinforced with 12 weekly flights always with the 777-300ER and the 777-200LR. The line Sydney-Nouméa will be interrupted while waiting to find a partnership with a local company. The line to Bangkok is maintained but now it will be operated by Boeing 737-800 with a stopover in Chennai, India. These changes of lines and fleet will be effective in October 2012.
In January 2013, the long-haul fleet is composed of four 777: three in the version -300ER and one in the version -200LR. On January 15, 2009, the airline signed a memorandum of agreement for the purchase of two A380-800 from Airbus. These two devices will serve Paris under the colors of a future subsidiary to be created by the airline.
The company inaugurated in May 2009, a new line Paris – Sydney and Paris – Noumea, by means of a Boeing 777-200. The airline has received in May of 2009 from Boeing, through ILFC, two Boeing 777-300ER and has bought in the aftermath two ATR 72-500. The first replaces the ATR already existing in the fleet, while the other ATR 72-500 strengthens the regional fleet of the company. The third 777-300ER is fully owned by the company, just as the 777-200LR.
On November 17, 2009, during the air show in Dubai, Air Austral confirmed its order for two A380-8003. On December 11, 2009, the airline placed an order for 2 Boeing 737-800 for delivery in December 2010. In Mid-2011 or early 2012, the airline was to receive 2 Boeing 777-200LR units at the Farnborough Airshow.
Based in Dzaoudzi in the department of Mayotte, the company will aim to serve the islands of the Archipelago of Comoros, Madagascar and other destinations of the Mozambique Channel in a operation with a Hub at the airport of Dzaoudzi-Pamandzi.