Today St Helena Government and SA Airlink (Airlink) have announced that travellers wishing to fly to St Helena, a long awaited dream for the Island and Saints around the world, will be able to do so from 14 October 2017, with the sale of tickets to commence early in September 2017.
The inaugural flight for Airlink’s scheduled air service to St Helena will take place on Saturday, 14 October 2017. On this occasion the aircraft will overnight on St Helena and will return to Johannesburg via Windhoek on Sunday, 15 October 2017. Thereafter the service will operate on a weekly basis, travelling from Johannesburg to Windhoek to St Helena on a Saturday.
Prices for travel on the Embraer E190-100IGW ETOPS from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and Cape Town to St Helena, have been quoted as:
A return ticket from St Helena to Cape Town will cost from £846 including taxes in Economy and £1,586 in Business
A return ticket from St Helena to Johannesburg will cost from £804 including taxes in Economy and £1,544 in Business
Passengers will have the choice of both Economy and Business Class on the flights, with 70 seats in Economy and six in Business. For checked or hold baggage, the general free allowance on Airlink flights is 20kg in Economy Class and 30kg in Business Class per adult passenger. In addition to the checked or hold baggage, passengers may carry the following cabin or hand baggage. Each piece should not exceed 8kg: 1 Piece plus 1 slimline laptop bag (Economy Class) / 2 Pieces plus 1 slimline laptop bag (Business Class).
Photo courtesy of SHG Access Office
The Embraer E190-100IGW ETOPS proving flight on 21 August carried out numerous test, including multiple take offs and landings at St Helena Airport, which has resulted in Airlink receiving the required approvals from SA authorities to operate this service.
The plane will depart Johannesburg each Saturday morning at 09:00 local time and fly to Windhoek in Namibia where it will refuel and connect with the incoming Airlink service from Cape Town that will have departed at 10:30. Passengers on-board will then fly on to St Helena landing on the island at 13:15. Total flight time from Johannesburg and Cape Town to St Helena will be just over 6 hours, including the stop at Windhoek. Flight time from Windhoek to St Helena is 3 hours and 45 minutes.
The return flight to South Africa will depart on Saturdays from St Helena at 14:30 and again fly to Windhoek where passengers will be able to connect with an Airlink service to Cape Town, or fly on to Johannesburg. The flight is expected to arrive back in Johannesburg at 22:30 local time with the connecting passengers landing in Cape Town at 23:00.
The monthly flight to Ascension Island will commence on the third weekend in November 2017. Thereafter the flight will take place on the second weekend of every month.
Tickets will be available online via the Airlink website and through all normal IATA global distribution systems. Passengers are advised to contact their IATA travel agent.
For those passengers that are resident on St Helena, ticket bookings can be made via Solomon & Company (St Helena) Plc’s Shipping & Travel Agency at the Malabar in Jamestown. Passengers can visit the Shipping & Travel Agency in person or can contact email@example.com or telephone 22523.
Chris Pickard, Director of Tourism said: “With the release of fares, schedules and the start date for flights we have reached the moment of truth where we will learn what the demand is to visit St Helena. There is still a lot of work to be done as St Helena has to compete for business with all the other fantastic destinations around the world, but we are the new kid on the block and I have faith that now we have flights in the system the visitors will come to discover the charms of St Helena.”
Until the commencement of flights, visitors can still travel to St Helena on the last working Royal Mail Ship, the RMS St Helena. There has been no news of any revision to the RMS schedule, which is slated to continue until February 2018.