Johannesburg – 11 May 2017: The first week of May 2017 will be a day to be remembered in Saint Helena’s history as the first ever passenger flight landed at St Helena Airport. SA Airlink flew from Cape Town to St Helena with an RJ85 aircraft. The aircraft departed Cape Town and landed in Namibe, Angola for refuelling before heading to St Helena Airport. It touched down smoothly on the infamous RWY20 at 1354z with sixty (60) passengers and 5 crew on board. The crowd applauded and cheered, it was absolutely incredible. As some of the Saints have never left the island, this was something to be in awe of.
St Helena Government chartered an Air Link flight to assist passengers who were affected by the cancellation of two voyages as RMS(Ship) was in Simons Town at a dry dock, This is due to the fact that the ship experienced technical problems before sailing to St Helena.
The RMS is the only life-line servicing the Island and prior to the Air Link Chartered flight there was no other alternate.
ATNS major role of timely weather update ensured that the plane lands safely. The islands weather is a challenge and therefore constant airfield is key.