Eswatini Air flights boost tourism, trade ties with SA


KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and the leader of Government Business MEC, Siboniso Duma with Eswatini officials during the opening of the new route. File photo

from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
KwaZulu Natal Bureau
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – THE resumption of flights by Eswatini Air to South Africa is anticipated to boost trade between the two countries.

The direct flight to Durban was opened early in May, with a maximum capacity of 50 passengers operated by an Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft. It operates flights on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

There are plans to increase frequencies to seven times a week from this month, based on demand.

The route is expected to facilitate trade between KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province and Eswatini, further strengthening the already strong economic and cultural relations between the two destinations.

“Eswatini is one of the key regional tourism markets and shares strong historical and cultural ties with the province of KwaZulu-Natal,” Member of Executive Committee (MEC) for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Siboniso Duma, said.

Pre-pandemic, tourist arrivals from Eswatini averaged 290 000 per annum and in 2022 tourist arrivals demonstrated a strong recovery of 89 percent.

“This presents an exciting opportunity for Eswatini Air to grow as a partner in accelerating the recovery of tourism between the two destinations,” Duma said.

Nkosinathi Myataza, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) Regional General Manager, told the media that the inaugural flight reinforced the importance of the aviation industry and how it remains a key mode of transport, generating significant benefits for the economy.

“…More so, connecting friends and relatives of these two countries, especially the KZN Region with a long history of fraternal relations,” Myataza said.

“It can also not escape us that May is Africa month where we celebrate our continent,” Myataza added.

According to the World Bank, over 60 percent of exports from Eswatini come to South Africa. Over 80 percent of Eswatini’s imports come from South Africa.

– CAJ News




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