BY ZWELI DLAMINI
MBABANE – Royal Eswatini National Airways Corporation (RENAC) has unveiled its new trading name Eswatini Air following the purchase of two aircrafts last year.
During a press briefing yesterday the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RENAC Captain President Qiniso Dhlamini said Eswatini Air was now the new name of the National Airline of the Kingdom of Eswatini and the logo depicted the national carrier’s new identity.
He said the new symbol was made up of a bateleur eagle (Ingculungculu), a bird which was part of Eswatini’s eco-system, known as one of Africa’s most majestic eagles and famous for its acrobatic displays and rocking in flight stunts.
“There is no better symbol than the eagle to depict the vision and tenacity of RENAC as we branch into scheduled airline operations,” said the CEO.
Dhlamini said as an airline that hailed from the Kingdom of Eswatini whose sole motive and mandate was to uplift the socio-economic aspirations of our kingdom, the corporate colours of Eswatini Air represented the Kingdom’s national flag, underpinning the national airline status.
“Our slogan ‘Everyone must fly’ expresses our commitment towards making air travel services affordable to our people. We aim to transform flying from being a luxury into something that forms part of emaSwati’s everyday life by operating relevant routes and making the services affordable,” said Dhlamini.
He went on to add that many people currently travelled between Eswatini and neighbouring cities using the road involuntarily due to the absence of direct air services in some cases and also due to exorbitant air ticket prices.
“A situation whereby people spend countless hours on the road, risking their lives and losing productive time will soon be over and everyone must fly,” he said.
Dhlamini said Eswatini Air was the pride of the nation and would go a long way in facilitating trade and tourism development for the country. The initial set of planned routes comprises direct and non-stop flights linking Eswatini to Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Zimbabwe.
“The company has acquired two Embraer ERJ 145 aircrafts which are currently undergoing the requisite paintwork and will ready for entry into service during the first half of the 2022 calender year,” he said.
Dhlamini further confirmed that flight schedules showing days of operation, departure and arrival times would be announced in due course after all government approvals were secured thereafter their flights would be made available for sale via their website, at their offices and through travel agencies.
The CEO added that because the services, activities due to the addition of the fleet they would be employing in access of 40 to 50 staff members including pilots that would be added to their current staff compliment.
Renac Commercial Director Xavier Masule also added that the airline activities would also result in additional purchases of goods and services in the country.
“There will be other jobs created in the service industry and normally what happens is that the number of jobs in the airline are three to four times less than what is created outside of just operations internally or within Renac which can be seen in the hospitality or tourism industry for instance,” said Masule.
BENEFITS WHICH WILL ACCRUE TO LOCALS FROM OPERATIONS OF ESWATINI AIR
|Grand Domestic Product (GDP) growth.|
|Job creation from direct, indirect and induced employment opportunities.|
|Improve the country’s attractiveness to investors.|
|Improve efficiencies around export and import requirements of the country.|
|Foreign currency earner for treasury.|