Stimulate Activity at KM 111 International Airport
His Excellency the Right Honourable Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini was represented by the Minister of Public Works and Transport. The Minister said the jet would stimulate activity at KM III International Airport.
“This is a first of its kind in the kingdom and a major milestone towards attracting the necessary air traffic. Ndwandwe said government pledged its support for the partnership and would provide all the necessary support to ensure that it was sustained for the mutual benefit of the parties – and by extension the country. “We encourage the partners to continuously look for innovative ways to maximise the benefits that can flow from this partnership,” said the Minister.
He mentioned that government would closely monitor the partnership to ensure that the country benefitted as promised by the partners. “May I again welcome Royal Jet to the Kingdom of Eswatini and wish them a warm stay in the country. I encourage the crew, on non-flying days, to explore the country and enjoy our beautiful scenery,” said Ndwandwe.
How will RENAC benefit?
RENAC CEO Capt. Qiniso President Dhlamini first thanked His Majesty the King for the role he played four years ago in the acquisition of the deal. Dhlamini stated that the partnership with Royal Jet was one of the few projects that are in the pipeline by RENAC in transforming the aviation industry.
Dhlamini said there would be a lot of skills transfer to local engineers from their well-established counterparts from Abu Dhabi
He explained that the jet would be fuelled at the KM III International Airport, with revenue going to RENAC. He further mentioned the Corporation would receive a commission for the hiring of the jet.
“We can’t disclose at this stage the percentage of the commission but RENAC will benefit from this partnership,” he said.
He said the jet would also pay for landing and parking at KM III. He pointed out that they needed substantial money to rebuild the public enterprise. Dhlamini said the jet crew would be booked at Royal Villas.
“While they are booked there, a local establishment will benefit from the rent,” the CEO said.
He announced that the State’s jet, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-87 would also be available for chartering in future. The Chief Executive Officer mentioned that RENAC was in the process of getting an air charter certificate for the McDonnell Douglas-9-87.
The Chairman of RENAC Board of Directors Mr. Mndeni Mazibuko said the arrival of the jet would boost the tourism industry as it was going to bring people into the country. The board chairperson thanked the partners, Royal Jet, for agreeing and choosing to base their aircraft in the beautiful Kingdom. “This partnership is one of the many initiatives by RENAC to revive the aviation industry in the country and it will be implemented in phases, the first of which we have just witnessed,” he added. He said the next phase will involve vigorous marketing of both the BBJ and MD87 aircraft and the KM3 International Airport. The Chairman further stated that they will do all in their power to ensure that their partnership with Royal Jet thrives, and that it lasts longer than the initial agreement of a year.
ROYAL Jet Commercial Director Simon D’oyly has said the company has a long term vision of establishing a fully-fledged base which will include a maintenance wing that will result in skills development and job creation for Emaswati. D’oyly said their company was launching a 30 Seat Boeing Business Jet in Eswatini aircraft together with the MD87 to their clients in Africa. He said the partnership has long term gains for the country stating that they were hopeful that the partnership will lead to more of their aircrafts being based in the region. He disclosed that they have been operating in Africa for many years now but Eswatini is the first country where they have a base in Africa. “Royal Jet has been operating flights into Africa since 2003 with its Gulfstream G300s and operating Head of State and other VVIP missions with its Boeing Business Jets since 2005, but this venture marks the first occasion we have based an aircraft in Africa.
Our partnering with RENAC and indeed the Kingdom of Eswatini reflects our belief that this Hidden Jewel of Africa is set to burst onto the world’s tourism stage in spectacular fashion. I can think of no other country or airport where a business jet or VVIP airliner can land at an international airport and within 20 minutes the passengers could be in a game reserve seeing the Big Five,” he said.
He said the aim of this venture is to grow Royal Jet’s engagement with Eswatini, to develop mutual business opportunities and to transfer skills his company has developed over the past 17 years into the local aviation sector.
He said their interest in Eswatini lies also in supporting Head of State and VVIP transportation within Southern Africa.
Meanwhile Minister of Tourism Moses Vilakati said his ministry was elated at the partnership which he said will bring to the country the high end clientele who are big spenders. He said these visitors will visit the game reserves and hotels where they will spend money to boost the economy of the country. He said now he will engage the company to assist the country in marketing the kingdom in the high end magazines and media forums where the company has access. He said such will help to expose the country even more noting that Eswatini still needs more exposure abroad.