The first ever scheduled flight to British overseas territory St Helena has landed but was 45 minutes late.
The British Overseas Territory St Helena in mid Atlantic made history as it welcomed its first commercial flight when a British Airways Boeing 737-800 (ZS-ZWG) landed Monday 18 April. St Helena Airport was tested in September 2015 when a the first ever flight landed. This will open one of the most famous yet remotest parts of the world to visitors who could previous only dream of going there. Regular commercial flights are expected to start end of May 2016.
Martin Louw, Operations Director for Comair (the operating Company for British Airways), said on arrival that “the flight itself was a ‘non-event’ – beautiful over the sea with a fantastic view of the Island coming in to land. As you will have seen we did a few practice approaches just to make sure we understood the approach – safety is always paramount.
Mr Louw, himself hugely experienced pilot, flew the plane, and Johan Bruwer was co-pilot.
The purpose of the Implementation Flight included route assessment, airside operations, passenger and cargo handling, training and various aspects of safety at St Helena Airport.
The flight departed from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg at 08h30, and arrived at St Helena’s new Airport shortly after 12.00 noon. Passengers included various Comair, Basil Read and other members and a consignment of aircraft spare parts.