Swazi Senator Mike Temple called for an inquiry into the efforts to revive national carrier Swazi Airways (Manzini King Mswati III Int'l), suggesting that the process has been hijacked by forces preying on the ignorance of senior ministers, reports the Swazi Observer.

Swazi Airways is entirely owned by the Swazi state and is the official successor to Royal Swazi National Airlines (ZC, Manzini Matsapha) which collapsed in 1999. The Royal Swazi National Airways Corporation (RSNAC) Board was mandated with reviving the airline following the opening of Manzini King Mswati III Int'l airport in 2014. At that time, RSNAC Board Chairperson Nokuthula Mthembu said that the process for securing a consultant to assist in the airline's development was underway.

Plans seemed to be progressing, with the start-up taking delivery of its first B737-300 ZS-VDP (msn 27346) in February 2016, wet-leased from Star Air (South Africa) (BRH, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo). However, it recently withdrew from that agreement, incurring a debt of USD458,020 to Global Hub for securing the deal. The Observer reports that another SZL4.9 million (USD361,650) had previously been paid to a US company called Sky Jet for the lease of an aircraft, however that deal fell through due to legal issues.

Swazi Airways had planned to commence operations in February last year serving Cape Town, Durban King Shaka, Harare Int'l, Dubai Int'l, and Mumbai Int'l from its Manzini King Mswati III Int'l hub. Despite the setbacks, acting CEO Guillermo Barrios remains optimistic. "We have exhausted almost all the pre-operational phases which included hiring staff, offices, facilities, and equipment. We have acquired the aircraft, undergone a little bit of marketing and our first flight is coming soon," he said.

It is unclear which aircraft, if any, Swazi Airways has secured.