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Swaziland Airlink is is the reincarnation of Royal Swazi Airways, and was formed in 1999 as a joint venture between SA Airlink and the Swazi Goverment. SA Airlink own 40% of Swazi Airlink and the Swazi Government owns the remaining 60%. Its base is at Matsapha Airport in Manzini. Swazi Airlink's flights are operated by SA Airlink, and it only operates flights from Johannesburg to Manzini (JNB-MTS), with 2 Embraer ERJ 135LR planes (once Sikhuphe International Airport is opened, they have to switch to flying there).
The European Union has unbanned all airlines based in Swaziland, which were previously on its blacklist. However, I'm not sure that any of them have ambitions to fly to Europe!
The airline has been told to move from Matshapa Airport to King Mswati III airport. However, whilst Matshapa Airport is 10 minutes away from Manzini; King Mswati III Airport is an hour's drive away. A study by Airlink indicates that many of those in Manzini will rather drive to Johannesburg, than have to fly from King Mswati III Airport, and that the airline would then operate at a loss on the route.
13 October 2014 : Operations have begun at Swaziland’s King Mswati III International Airport with the first flights arriving early last week. The airport was officially opened in March but the first flights have only started coming in over the last week. The first official flight had 29 passengers on board and all went swimmingly. There are three daily flights scheduled to King Mswati from JNB, the same schedule that JNB – Matsapha had. There were only 70 000 passengers recorded annually at Matsapha Airport which is 330 000 passengers less than what is needed to recoup the total operating and construction costs of moving the airport from Matsapha to King Mswati. The total cost of the move is estimated to be around R3 billion, quite a large amount to spend on an airport for a country with such a high level of poverty.
7 October 2014 : After the airline noticed an increase in demand for both Saturday and Sunday flights between KMIII International Airport and JNB they requested a new 47 seater Embraer Jet from SA Airlink. The new aircraft will be replacing their 37 seater Embraer Jet.
7 March 2014 : After 11 years of construction, King Mswati III has inaugurated the country's new airport. The airport has been named King Mswati-III International Airport (originally it was to be called Sikhuphe International Airport). We'll have to wait until it gets its IATA operating licence before flights to it start.
26 February 2014 : Swaziland Airlink have hired Zandi Maseko to be the airline's brand ambassador during 2014, which involves photos of her being placed on advertising & billboards. The previous brand ambassador of the airline was Bhekiwe Dlamini.
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