Operations BY Airlink Swaziland, the new venture between SA Airlink and the Swazi Government, may have to be reconsidered, says SA Airlink chief executive Rodger Foster.

"The five-week-old operation has been fraught with political resistance from groups in Swaziland who want the government to operate the service," he says. The new airline, which primarily operates a Fokker F28, replaces bankrupt Royal Swazi National Airways, which suspended flights in April.

Foster says the only viable route is between Johannesburg and Matsapa, the international airport situated half way between capital Mbabane and second largest town Manzini. He says Johannesburg-Matsapa-Dar-es-Salaam flights have not been successful because other carriers offer better, non-stop, services from Johannesburg to Tanzania's largest city.

The Swazi Government owns 60% of Airlink Swaziland and the South African carrier 40%, although it has an option to increase its stake to 51%.

Source: Flight International