Press reports out of Cape Town, South Africa state that tenders will soon be issued for flights to the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, part of a group of islands in the Mid/South Atlantic Ocean that includes Ascension Island and the islands of Tristan da Cunha, with the contract being awarded "next year."
Currently the island's only link to mainland anywhere is via a Royal Mail ship which sails from Cape Town twice monthly.
"The island will have open skies but it’s planned to start its own St Helena airline to provide regular scheduled services. Flights from Cape Town are expected to take three and a half hours. Tenders will be called for soon and a contract awarded early next year."
Before flights can start however, an airport will have to be constructed.
|St Helena's remote location in the Atlantic.|
Originally planned to accommodate either Airbus A319s, Boeing 737-800s or Boeing 757-200s, a decision taken to shorten the runways length will invariably limit the airport to servicing Boeing 737-700s, which in turn will limit the variety of destinations served from St Helena to either Angola or Namibia with a full payload, or Cape Town and Johannesburg with a reduced payload.