The countdown to the Kingdom of Eswatini flag-bearer, Royal Eswatini Air taking off has begun. The airline returns to the skies after 21 years on the 26th March 2023 with its first launch flights to Johannesburg in the morning and afternoon.
Royal Swazi purchased two two Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft that will introduce the King Mswati lll international Airport at Sikhuphe as a regional hub connecting travellers to the regional commercial capital Johannesburg and with Cape Town and Durban direct without connecting through Johannesburg.
The second phase of the rollout will heard for Harare with 4 flights a week on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays effective from the 14th April 2023.
Phase three will see daily return flights to Durban from 5 May 2023. This phase will also introduce a third Johannesburg return flight.
The last phase will see 3 flights per week to Cape Town on Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays.
Royal Swazi is pitching their introductory fares at below market rates, consistent with their motto that “Everyone Must Fly”. A one-way ticket to Durban and Johannesburg will be E1,300.00 and E2100.00 return while Cape Town will be E2100.00 and E2200.00 to Harare.
Royal Swazi resumption of flights has been anticipated since March 2022 when the airline bought two 50-70 seater Ambraer jets. Returning to the skies has however been delayed by lengthy certification licences. Royal Swazi CEO Captain Qiniso Dhlamini announced on 31 December that they had finally acquired their Air Operator Certificate (AOC). An AOC is an international aviation requirement issued by civil aviation authorities to compliant airlines which serves as evidence that all functions of an airline’s operations methods, procedures and manuals are compliant with applicable regulations and that the airline has demonstrated its ability to operate in line with international standards.
The next hurdle for the airline was to acquire permission of aeronautical authorities in South Africa and Zimbabwe. The airline’s predecessor, Royal Swazi Air flew as far as Nairobi, Kenya. So far there is no indication that the airline plans on resuming this key route that would connect it to airlines from Europe and Asia.