Tag: hle

Successful commercial flight lands passengers on St Helena

After a night of heavy dewfall St Helena woke up to a bright sunny day.  Today was the 3rd May 2017 the day that another legacy will be made as St Helena awaited the arrival of the Avero RJ 85.  It would appear that nothing would deter the many Islanders from making that long trip to the St Helena Airport to view this momentous flight touching down on runway 20.

This would be the maiden flight for a commercial aircraft to  bring passengers to St Helena. The Avero RJ 85 operated by SA Air link safely landed with sixty passengers onboard, the majority of whom were returning Saints that were left stranded in South Africa after the Royal Mail Ship the RMS St. Helena developed a further problem with its starboard propeller.

The flight was also considered as a humanitarian one following the successful negotiations between the St Helena Government and DFID in London to address RMS passengers stranded in Capetown. After breaking down for the second time the RMS had to disembark its passengers and cargoes in Capetown and proceed to another dry dock in Simons Town.

The  SA Airlink Avero RJ 85 touchdown at St. Helena at approximately 14.55 hours GMT with blue skies and wind speed of around 15mph registered on the runway. The landing of the SAAirlinkRJ-85 Flight SA8878 appear near perfect.

SA Airlink RJ 85
SA Airlink RJ 85 arrival at St Helena

The Airport terminal building was teaming with excitement as approximately three hundred people watched the sixty passengers disembarked the aircraft from the restaurant viewing deck. It was said that the flight was smooth and pleasant, the passengers enjoyed the flight which took seven hours from Capetown via Namibia for a refuel.

Besides the family members of passengers arriving, many were just onlookers to witness this historic moment seeing the passengers stepping off the SA Airlink RJ-85 Jet and making their way to the terminal building. Following the disembarkation most onlookers and family members went to the arrival lounge to greet the arriving passengers.

The cleaning and refuelling of the aircraft took just under an hour the plane was ready to embark her passengers for the return flight to South Africa. As soon as its eighty seats were filled the engines were roaring into action proceeded down the runway ready for take-off.

Full car park at St Helena airport
A full car park at St Helena Airport

This is another milestone for St. Helena and will be long remembered as the first aircraft to land with sixty passengers. It was said that the captain of the RJ-85 had no difficulty in landing the aircraft on runway 20 which is the end that is supposedly plagued by wind shear. Due to its design, this aircraft uses only a small portion of the runway for landing and take-offs and today was an outstanding performance by an Avero RJ 85.

Atlantic Star Airlines with Tronis jet also landed a similar type aircraft on  St Helena  last year without passengers. This also was a historic test flight that many onlookers enjoyed following the problematic flight by ComAir using the 737 .

Comair’s Boeing 737-800 made Island history on St Helena’s new Airport.

After many years of hard work and team dedication, today St Helena has made another very important milestone in history.  St Helena was always described as a remote South Atlantic Island, but it now breathes a sigh of relief and buzz of excitement both on Island and Worldwide.

newsarticle-247991-scaled-560x0Being one of the biggest and most successful deliveries in Island history, could be seen in motion by Islanders before their own eyes as the British Airways Boeing aircraft operated by Comair made their first approach followed by a fly pass over the runway, followed soon after by a successful landing at 12 noon local time.

First Comair/BA Boeing 737-800 parked the Apron at HLE St Helena Airport
First Comair/BA Boeing 737-800 parked the Apron at HLE St Helena Airport

This is now the largest aircraft to land at St Helena airport to date. It will later become the designated Comair operated flight used for the weekly air service to and from ‘Tambo’ International airport in Johannesburg.

Today’s milestone is the beginning of a new journey; it will serve all the residence living on Island and abroad. Today it has proved that access to and from the Island using a 21st century passenger airliner has just got easier and offers convenience for the traveller.

Although, the airport has not been given the official certification to operate. Confirmation is only hours away, before the announcement hopefully is made officially and to certify the airport.  This of course was all down to last week’s visit of the ASSI team that was flown out to St Helena from London on a special flight from JO-burg, and to deliver their report with the approval to proceed with operations.

Comair has arrived at St Helena
Comair has arrived at St Helena

Todays flight brought 50 passengers which includes; Basil Reads Director, Jimmy Johnston and Deon Da Jager (Basil Reads island Director-in-charge of Airport Construction) who left the island on Friday 15th April (three days ago).  Mr De Jager made a visit to his Head Office in South Africa and return today 18th April.

Following today’s events, there were many crowds of onlookers at vantage points and lining the high spots on the hill tops near the airport in view to this successful landing of Comair’s flight.

The aircraft is expected to operate a few flights tomorrow, before leaving on Wednesday afternoon at 1700 hrs for Johannesburg.

The official opening of the airport is schedule to open on May 21st 2016.  In attendance will be HRH Price Edward the Earl of Wessex, a VIP flight will arrive on the May 20th at St Helena airport.  To commemorate this special occasion, a further UK chartered flight operated by ‘Atlantic Star’ airlines is due to arrive two days later on May 23rd bringing also passengers to the island.

With all the excitement, and reaction from social media there was certainly a buzz on today’s events.

Phillip Newman  Who witness the landing on St Helena commented on Facebook “This is history in the making, what a spectacular day for St Helena and an even better day for the history books”

Two Years in the Atlantic  “The Island is buzzing right now, social media has gone nuts”

Usha Griffiths who lives in the UAE said “We thought that this day would never come, but it’s here……….first commercial flight to land on our little island  Feeling emotional excited all roll into one………Daddie I’ll see you real soon!”

Trevor Botting  “Historic day for St Helena with the Comair 737-800 landing at the airport Brilliant to be part of it!!”

Simon Benjamin took his own History selfie and later posted it on Facebook.

Another lady who lives in UK said she had tears rolling down her cheeks.

I’m sure on behalf of every one who will benefit from St Helena’s new airport, we would like to thank the team at DIFID, Jimmy Johnston, Deon De Jager and the Basil Read team including all the St Helenian staff and other organisations involved for one of this successful and satisfactory job made in St Helena’s history!

Please show your appreciation, and share your thoughts about the achievement made on St Helena today?

Hello St Helena (HLE) we are on our way as 737-800 departs JNB for HLE.

After landing at 18.20 yesterday at Johannesburg International Airport. BA’s Boeing 737-800 operated by Comair is airborne again and heading on her maiden and historical journey to St Helena and she is travelling at 405 knots and at altitude of 38000 feet. This is the first flight to the Islands new Airport for the Boeing 737 registration ZS-ZWG. This will be one of many journeys that the aircraft will operate on every Saturday morning to St Helena for the 737. The Aircraft reported online that its ATD from Johannesburg around 10.44 local time. She is also carrying some passengers for the Island. more info to follow after arrival.