By Phephile Motau
Eswatini Air completed its maiden flight on Sunday morning in what many passengers termed a smooth flight.
The flight was from King Mswati III International Airport to OR Tambo International Airport with passengers that included government officials and four cabinet ministers.
DJ Oskido and DJ Zinhle who were fresh from playing at the House Musiq Fest were also among the passengers, as well as the High Commissioner of South Africa to Eswatini Thoko Sipamla.
The flight left the airport at around 7 am and landed in Johannesburg 45 minutes later to much fanfare. When the flight landed in Johannesburg, it was given a water salute.
The passengers were treated to a reception hosted by Tourism South Africa at the OR Tambo International Airport where many speakers, including South African government officials, congratulated the government of Eswatini and the Royal Eswatini National Airways Corporation (RENAC) for the airline and said this would boost the tourism industry.
They also praised the team which made the airline possible for their resilience as the period it took between Sunday and the time of the purchase of the aeroplanes was a test.
The Minister of Public Works and Transport Chief Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe thanked Tourism South Africa for hosting the reception of Eswatini Air at OR Tambo International Airport.
“Our two countries are intertwined in so many other aspects and the tourism sector is perhaps one of the areas which when jointly developed could see both our economies moving in the right direction of growth. Thank you for extending a friendly hand, we are receiving it with a firm warm handshake,” he said.
He also thanked Airports Company South Africa for accepting Eswatini Air to use their facilities.
DJ Zinhle said she was not aware that she would be boarding the maiden flight, but she was excited as she believed that African countries should all have airlines.