The Kingdom of Eswatini Government and South Africa-based Airlink have announced they have mutually agreed to dissolve their joint venture airline business, Eswatini Airlink. By this decision, Eswatini Airlink will cease operations from 01 June 2022.
Eswatini Airlink currently operates multiple daily services between Johannesburg and Sikhuphe’s King Mswati III International Airport.
Also, from 01 June, Airlink and the Kingdom’s new national carrier, Eswatini Air, will respectively provide scheduled air services between Johannesburg and King Mswati III International Airport, giving travellers to and from Eswatini greater choice.
Eswatini’s Minister for Public Works and Transport, Chief Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe, said: “For the past 23 years Eswatini Airlink has provided the Kingdom of Eswatini with vital air services and helped to connect our economy with those throughout Southern Africa and beyond. However, we have decided to take advantage of the opportunity that the post-COVID restart and recovery presents, to launch a new, wholly-Eswatini owned carrier and usher in a new era of competition.”
Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster, said: “Through our jointly owned and operated Eswatini Airlink business, we have enjoyed a long and mutually successful partnership connecting Eswatini to the world through the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. However, as the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini recently re-established a national airline, we have jointly and amicably agreed to discontinue Eswatini Airlink’s operations in an orderly manner to avoid any disruption and inconvenience to our customers. Airlink will seamlessly continue providing the service, and most importantly, we are offering to re-employ every Eswatini Airlink staff member with Airlink, thereby securing their jobs.”
It is expected that healthy competitive air transport services in this market will help to promote and develop trade, tourism and other economic opportunities.
Eswatini Airlink was established in 1999 to provide air services for the Kingdom after Royal Swazi National Airways stopped operating.