Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

Swaziland king opens 'white elephant' airport

08 March 2014, 15:48

Mbabane - Swaziland's King Mswati III on Friday inaugurated a new $280m airport in the tiny nation even though the project is years away from being operational and has been dubbed a "white elephant" by critics.

It has taken 11 years to build the airport, at a cost equivalent to almost 10% of the impoverished mountain kingdom's 2012 Gross Domestic Product.

Authorities in the sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy hope the airport will help attract tourism and foreign investment.

But it has yet to be granted an operating licence by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and no airlines are expected to make use of the airport for years to come, prompting concerns about the viability of the project.

Swaziland's ruler, however, defended the airport, which was built under the name Sikhuphe International Airport but was on Friday renamed King Mswati-III International Airport.

"This airport is not a tool to make a circus show but to advance the country's development," the monarch said at the opening ceremony.

Swaziland is currently serviced by South Africa's SA Airlink which plies only the 45-minute route to and from Johannesburg and operates from a smaller airport in the commercial hub of Manzini.

The new airport, built 70km away from the capital Mbabane, will eventually be able to handle 300 passengers per hour and its runway can accommodate jumbo jets, officials said.

Swaziland does not have its own national airline but aviation authorities announced earlier this year that a new national carrier is in the pipeline and will fly to 10 destinations in Africa and the Middle East.

Locked between Mozambique and South Africa, Swaziland remains one of the world's poorest countries, though its monarch is estimated to have a fortune of around $200m.

- AFP

NEXT ON NEWS24 NIGERIAX

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
&nbps;

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Don Tommy
Like Nnamdi Kanu, like Saro-Wiwa

We all are watching as history is repeating itself in Nigeria in the most dramatic of fashions. We may recall that after Obasanjo handed over to Shagari in 1979... Read on Read more...

Submitted by
Daniel Evo
The way forward to achieve peace ...

Nigeria as a country has failed in many ways such as religion, ethnicity ,believe, leadership,Democratic conduct. Read more...

Submitted by
Gov Yahaya Bello 'needs support, ...

Bearing in mind that the present administration is only barely a few months in office, what Govevor Bello seriously needs right now is the prayers, support, patience and perseverance of all and sundry in the state, writes Hussain Obaro. Read more...

Submitted by
Peregrino Brimah
Are 'Fulani' terrorists being spo...

Are Fulani terrorists being sponsored by Boko Haram sponsors? I believe this is a legitimate question Nigerians must ask as the so-called Fulani herdsmen, continue to wage war against Nigeria, writes Peregrino Brimah.  Read more...

Submitted by
Seantie Anthony Tetkum
Happy couples and how they succee...

Three young hard working men consulted a wise old man on the best term of relationship to adopt before marriage after a heated argument among themselves. Read more...

Submitted by
Yunus Adamu Ibrahim
North south identity is the unity...

North-south/Muslim-Christian identities is the unit of the nation. Unity means honoring the universal truths of oneness: the quality of being united as one. Read more...