LONDON – Flag carrier of the Kingdom of Eswatini, Royal Eswatini National Airways Corporation (RENAC), known better by its trading name as Eswatini Air, prepares for launch as it secures its Air Operators Certificate, according to local news source the Eswatini Daily News.
In a media statement dated 31 December 2022, RENAC Chief Executive Officer Qiniso Dhlamini stated:
“The next step is to obtain related operating permits from aeronautical authorities of the foreign countries we plan to operate to, and soon thereafter, a date for commencement of our operations will be announced.”
The airline finally received its Air Operators Certificate just before New Year, it announced on its Facebook page. Previously, in October, the carrier had released a media statement saying that it’s been facing delays in obtaining the AOC.
The airline was supposed to launch in mid-2022, but due to administrative delays, it recently received the green light to carry passengers. With good news, the airline also announced that its subsidiary, Royal Eswatini Travel Agency, is in full swing selling tickets and providing customer services.
Moreover, Eswatini Air is also an authorised holder of ground handling licenses and provides ad hoc ground handling services to other airlines.
This includes liaising with customers, selling jet fuel, and dispatching and handling incoming and departing aircraft.
The airline confirms that it intends to fly on four routes, including from Eswatitni’s largest airport, Manzini King Mswati III International Airport, direct and non-stop to Johannesburg, Capetown, Durban and Harare.
The airline purchased two 50 seater EMB-145EP aircraft ex-HOP, a French regional airline to be flown on the abovementioned routes. The first Embraer regional jet has the registration of 3DC-EAA with an age of 25 years, and 3DC-EAB of 23.6 years respectively, according to the Planespotters.net database.
Eswatini, a landlocked enclave country nestled inside South Africa deserves to have its own national airline. As of today, South African, Air Link flies to Eswatini on an Embraer E145 on a daily basis.
A new flag carrier will certainly bring the landlocked country back on the global map for tourism and champion economic growth. With more added flights to more cities in South Africa, its largest trading and inbound traffic source, will increase tourism and boost the economic activity of the tiny Kingdom.
With added flights to Zimbabwe, will certainly connect international tourists from Zimbabwe to Eswatini, a new possible itinerary for many now with added flights.
The new airline replaces the Kingdom’s former flag carrier which went bankrupt in 2017 called Swazi Airways. The airline was, unfortunately shortlived, launching in 2016 and ceased to operate a year later.
The airline operated a sole Boeing 737-300, with the registration of ZS-VDP. Prior to Swazi Air, the Kingdom had a longer-lived national carrier called Royal Swazi National Airways, which operated from 1978 to 1999.
The resurrection of a ‘flag carrier’ hopes to bring joy and pride back to the country once again. Hopefully, the fleet of 2 Embraer Regional jets would be a wise and lean choice for the new airline.