The Swaziland Government is set to force national carrier, Swazi Airlink (SZL) to use Sikhuphe International Airport come its opening due in either "August or September 2013." Works are scheduled to be completed in April with a three month staff testing familiarization period planned thereafter.
|Sikhphe Int'l Airport (unknown)|
The announcement was made by Swazi Prime Minister (PM) Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini during a Q&A session with the Swazi press regarding the future of the USD150million project, which thus far, has failed to attract any foreign carriers.
"Airlink, which is operated in partnership with the Swazi government, in the past said it wanted to stay at Matsapha Airport, which is conveniently located close to the Swaziland capital Mbabane and the main commercial city of Manzini."
Situated 40 km east of Manzini, Sikhuphe's completion has been dragging on for some years owing to a lack of funding.
Swaziland Airlink was formed in 1999 as a joint venture company between the Swaziland Government (60%) and South African Airlink (4Z) (40%) to take over operations from Royal Swazi National Airways Corporation (RSNAC), the previous flag carrier of Swaziland. Its sole route consists of direct flights between Manzini and Johannesburg ORTIA.