First commercial flight touches down at St Helena
The touchdown of the inaugural commercial flight on Saturday, 14 October 2017 marked a historic day for St Helena Island. The arrival of the SA Airlink aircraft was celebrated with the flying of both the St Helena and the South African flags from the cockpit windows following the successful landing, and a water cannon arch as the plane taxied towards the apron.
Passengers arriving from the flight were greeted airside by HE Governor Lisa Phillips as they descended from the plane; followed by a large crowd of cheering onlookers as they entered into the arrival lounge of the St Helena Airport. Each passenger was also welcomed to the island by the St Helena Tourism team who presented St Helena branded gifts to mark the occasion.
Among those on board were 18 journalists and four international tour operators, all interested in the much anticipated newest flight destination across the South Atlantic. Several journalists including the BBC team had already logged and transmitted the stories of their journey by Saturday evening.
To ensure that all visiting journalists and international tour operators experienced as much as possible of St Helena during their overnight stay all were offered the chance to partake in a full itinerary of activities. This included land and sea based tours, site visits to local businesses and a reception at Plantation House with the Governor, who cut the specially made inaugural flight cake, depicting the connection between St Helena and South Africa with a miniature 3D replica of an Airlink plane.
This exciting weekend now marks the beginning of regular air services to St Helena, with a flight arriving from Johannesburg weekly on Saturdays.
Anyone interested in flying to St Helena should visit www.flysaa.com
Feature photo courtesy of St Helena Government.