The island belonging to the United Kingdom is in the middle of the Atlantic, today received its first regular flight.
The airline Airlink made the first regular flight from South Africa to the island of Saint Helena. Scheduled flights were scheduled to begin in May 2016, but wind shear close to the runway made operations difficult. Today, October 14, almost 17 months later, regular flights to this remote island of 4,500 inhabitants are already a reality.
The first commercial flight to the island was a charter also operated by Airlink on May 3 of this year, departing from Cape Town, South Africa and making a stop in Namib, Angola, with an Avro RJ-85 aircraft.
Meanwhile, the first regular flight landed today around 14:00 UTC without any inconvenience, using the south direction, known for the wind shear, but this time did not present problems.
The Embraer E190-100IGW took off from Johannesburg this morning with 78 passengers on board and arrived at Santa Elena Airport in the afternoon after stopping in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.
Lisa Phillips, St Helena governor, said: “I for one am getting really excited about the new chapter in St Helena’s history,”.
The UK-funded service is expected to boost tourism and help St. Helena Island become more self-sufficient.
So far the only connection of the island to the rest of the world was a three-week ship trip to South Africa.
Flights between Johannesburgo O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) and Santa Helena International Airport (HLE) make a stop at Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) of Namibia.
The detail of the flights is as follows:
- SA8131 Departs from Johannesburg at 09:00 and arrives to St Helena at 13:15 local time.
- SA8132 Departs from St Helena at 14:30 and arrives to Johannesburg at 22:30 local time.
The route is operated with Embraer E-190 aircraft, with one weekly flight, on Saturdays. Passengers have the option of connecting from Windhoek to Cape Town with an Airlink flight.