Wednesday, March 07, 2012

School trips may soon be by plane

MBABANE – The Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA) is doing a study that will revolutionize school trips to Durban, Cape Town and other parts of Southern Africa.

The authority wants pupils to fly to such places at low cost instead of spending hours on the road by bus.

Solomon Dube, Director General for SWACAA, in an interview said the study had been going on for more than a month and it is not only pupils who are targeted, but teachers, small businesspeople and so on.

"We want Swazis not to look at air-travel as something that is very distant to them.

"We simply want them to fly as it is another mode of transport available.

"So we are conducting studies to gauge its feasibility.

"We have roped in economists into the study," said Dube.

He said the old generation of Swazis never boarded a plane until they started working, but the Authority plans to change that. The younger generation must experience flying from a young age.

Meanwhile, the director general also revealed that SWACAA had also signed agreements with Emirates Airlines from Dubai, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airways and Qatar Airways.

There are plans to also bring the South African Airways on board.

"Even though agreements have been signed, the foreign airlines want to know why they should operate in the kingdom and what can make visitors stay for about five days in the country.

"They want traffic, that is, people who will use their airlines.

"This is a question which the Tourism Industry and the nation must answer," said Dube.

He said Sikhuphe International Airport’s location had its own advantages such as close proximity to local nature reserves, Mozambique, Richard’s Bay and Kruger National Park in South Africa.

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