First flight lands on remote St Helena

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Media caption Very first commercial flight touches down on “the world’s most useless airport”

The first scheduled commercial flight service to the remote British isle of St Helena in the southern Atlantic has touched down properly.

The virgin air travel, an SA Airlink service through South Africa, ends the island’s long-standing reliance on a ship which traveled the world every three weeks.

It is hoped that the service, financed by the UK, will boost travel and leisure and help make St Helena a lot more self-sufficient.

Yet British media have dubbed this “the most useless airport within the world”.

Picture copyright PA
Picture caption The opening from the airport was delayed by issues with wind

Built with £ 285m ($380m) associated with funding from the UK Department just for International Development (Dfid), the airport terminal should have opened in 2016, yet dangerous wind conditions delayed the particular launch.

After additional trials this summer, the weekly provider between Johannesburg and St Helena was passed as safe.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Because seen from inside the cabin, the first actually commercial flight lands at Saint Helena Airport

St Helena had for many years been one of the world’s most unavailable locations, served only by a uncommon ship service from South Africa.

It is chiefly known as the tropical isle to which French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled after his beat in the Battle of Waterloo within 1815, and where died.

The particular Embraer E190-100IGW aircraft took off through Johannesburg on Saturday morning, having 78 passengers. It reached Saint Helena in the afternoon after ending in the Namibian capital, Windhoek.

“I for one are getting really excited about the new section in St Helena’s history, inch said St Helena governor Mack Phillips.

Saint Helena

Uk Overseas Territory

  • Population 4, 255

  • Area 122 sq km (47 sq miles)

  • Main language English

  • Major religious beliefs Christianity

  • Currency St Helena Pound (equal in order to British pound)

  • Economy Farming, fishing concessions and tourism


Earlier travel to and from the tiny isle, with its population of just four, 255, was only possible for the RMS St Helena, which required around six days to complete the particular journey from South Africa.

The ship’s final journey is scheduled for February.

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Media caption A one-off commercial trip makes a wobbly landing in 2016

St Helena relies on British help of £ 52m a year plus officials hope increased tourism can make it more self-sufficient.

“This is an important moment within St Helena’s route to self-sufficiency, inch a Dfid spokeswoman said.

“It will enhance its tourism industry, creating a chance to increase its revenues, and will provide other benefits such as quicker entry to healthcare for those living on the tropical isle. ”

According to a report within the Guardian newspaper , the island’s diverse geology and wildlife, like the whales that gather off the coast, may appeal to visitors.

But “more plane tickets will have to be added if the airport will be deemed a success – and not a costly white elephant”, the report stated.

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