BOSSES: SWACAA Director General Solomon Dube addressing the media while Swaziland Airlink General Manager Teddy Mavuso looks on during a media briefing on the new developments at the KM III International Airport.
On behalf of the Swaziland Airlink shareholders, the directors, management and staff, it gives me great pleasure to announce to the Swazi Nation and the world that Swaziland Airlink, working in conjunction with SA Airlink the operator, will commence conducting commercial operations from the new state of the art King Mswati III International Airport with effect from September 30, 2014
THE King Mswati III International Airport will now be fully operational as Swaziland Airlink will move from Matsapha Airport with effect from September 30.
This was announced by Swaziland Airlink General Manager Teddy Mavuso at a press conference held at KM III Airport yesterday.
He said the new international airport would be taking over from Matsapha, and most of the staff would also be moved.
“On behalf of the Swaziland Airlink shareholders, the directors, management and staff, it gives me great pleasure to announce to the Swazi Nation and the world that Swaziland Airlink, working in conjunction with SA Airlink the operator, will commence conducting commercial operations from the new state of the art King Mswati III International Airport with effect from September 30, 2014,” said Mavuso.
“The Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA) as the airport operator has informed Swaziland Airlink and the nation that the Matsapha airport will soon be closed for all commercial operations and that King Mswati III will take over as the airport from which commercial operations will be conducted into the future. As an airline we are the first to admit that change is very difficult to accede to and manage, and yet, on the other hand, change is very necessary to allow for the reorientation of the mindset and the flexibility to explore various alternative solutions in support of developing strategies that are intended to foster growth in the country’s economy.
“Swaziland Airlink undertakes to rise to the occasion in this respect and will exert all possible effort to counter and mitigate any challenges that stand in the way of success in the process,” added Mavuso.
He said as Swaziland Airlink they had all embraced the date of September 30 as a date that would mark a milestone in the country’s history.
He said KM III airport was licensed in accordance with international standards hence it was ready to operate with Airlink.
Although the Matsapha Airport will be closed for commercial purposes, Mavuso said royal aircrafts were free to continue landing there, as well as the army. He said it would also be used by student pilots. This effectively means that some of the SWACCA staff members would remain there to ensure that it is functional.
Tender out for airport shuttle
SWAZILAND Civil Aviation Authority (SWACCA) Director General Solomon Dube said there would be a shuttle bus available to transport passengers from Mbabane, Ezulwini and Manzini at a fee.
He said the competitive tender for providing the services had already been advertised and was going to be awarded to whoever could provide the best services at the best price.
“The tender is obviously competitive and it has already been advertised so whoever will be able to provide the best services at the best price would be awarded,” he said.
The shuttle will depart at the said places in accordance to the flight schedules, but they are expected to arrive at the airport an hour before departure time. He said this would be tested out before the actual date when Swaziland Airlink will start operating fully from KM III airport.
SWACCA staff members will also be transported from the KM III airport to the main towns as soon as operations commence next month. On another note, Dube has invited all other interested airlines to apply to operate from KMIII. He said they were welcome to apply at any time.
Three airlines rotation a day
SWAZILAND Airlink with South African Airlink will operate three airlines rotation per day.
General Manager Teddy Mavuso said for now the earliest flight would depart from OR Tambo International Airport in the morning to KM III airport at 06:50 arriving at 07:35, while the latest flight would depart from OR Tambo at 16:05 and arrive at 18:05 daily (except Saturdays).
However, Mavuso said the schedule given would be closely monitored and could be adjusted if the demand rises from their clients.
“The schedule above will be closely monitored for its demand performance and will be adjusted in accordance with the demand dictates and responses as derived from the market,” he said.
Below is the schedule for the operations
g One morning flight departing OR Tambo at 06:50 to arrive at KM III at 07:35 and depart from KM3 at 08:05 to arrive at OR Tambo at 09:00 (Mondays to Fridays)
g One daily midmorning flight departs OR Tambo at 10:05 to arrive KM III at 10:50 and depart from KM3 at in the early afternoon at 13:50 to arrive OR Tambo at 14:45
g The last flight of the day will depart OR Tambo at 16:05 and arrive at KM III at 16:50 and then depart KM III at 17:10 to arrive at OR Tambo at 18:05 daily except for Saturdays
Babsy ready for challenges
FORMER police officer, journalist and Swaziland National Provident Fund (SNPF) Marketing and Communications Officer Babsy Mavuso commenced his duties as SWACCA Senior Communications Officer.
He started work officially on August 1, after handing in his resignation at his former employer and serving notice.
SWACCA Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager Sabelo Dlamini said Mavuso was selected out of 87 candidates that had applied for the job.
Dlamini said they were excited as SWACCA to have a person of Mavuso’s calibre working in their department.
“He was recruited through a rigorous exercise and we believe that he is the best person for the job. Besides being academically qualified he also has experience in the field,” he said.
Mavuso said he was also pleased with his new job, and was looking forward to working on challenges that came with it.