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Atlantic Star Airlines remains committed to St Helena despite wind shear warnings.

Last week’s rumours around town and on social media about Atlantic Star Airlines flying an aircraft to St Helena have come to fruition and the flight is now scheduled to arrive next week.

The Aircraft used by Atlantic Star is an Avro RJ100. The Journey will begin at Zurich in Switzerland then on to West Africa calling at Ascension Island for refuelling before the journey continues to St Helena.

This Aircraft which is owned by TronosJet, an Aircraft maintenance organisation based in Canada.

Tronosjet is well known in the aviation business and owns over 20 AVRO RJ/BAE 146 family aircraft and specializes in the aircraft maintenance and aircraft leasing.

The Avro RJ will be flown by specialist experienced pilots. Two Directors from Atlantic Star Airlines, along with other aviation specialists will also be on board.

Atlantic Star Airlines who have been committed to offering an Air Service to St Helena were schedule to make their first long haul journey from London to St Helena in May 2016 chartering a Boeing aircraft but was unable to deliver due to the airport not being commissioned for commercial operations.

Atlantic Star Airlines has always been committed to help find a solution to air access for St Helena.

The visit to the Island on this occasion is a non-commercial technical visit for Atlantic Star and TronosJet.

The crew will stay overnight on St Helena, accommodation and catering has been arranged to accommodate the visit before departing for South America.

The four engine turbo fan AVRO RJ100 ticks many boxes as a potential aircraft that could offer a service to the Island from Ascension and Cape Town to suit the constraints of the Islands airport.

The Aircraft type is owned by many civil organisations and private owners all over the world including RAF Queens Flight, AirFrance CityJet and Brussels Airlines and is renowned for its landing and take-off performance in identical runway lengths and conditions similar to St Helena.

Details of the exact accurate arrival times are not available yet however, it is hope that this along with other information will be released soon as the itinerary planning is completed. Captain Richard Brown from Atlantic Star is keen to meet with as many people on St Helena during his short stay, He is hoping to arrange a question and answer session in The Consulate Hotel on the evening of his arrival.

RMS St Helena’s historical and final journey to London along the River Thames

Despite a grey overcast afternoon in central London on Tuesday 07th June 2016 the RMS St Helena began her historical and final journey along London’s River Thames from Tilbury docks where she has been moored since Sunday 5th June 2016 after completing her last North bound two week voyage since departing St Helena as the Royal mail ship St Helena with 123 passengers on board.

RMS Tilbury Docks
RMS St Helena departing Tilbury docks as she is about to enter the River Thames for her Journey to HMS Belfast.

Saints and members of the public with connections to St Helena from all over the UK gathered along the banks of the River and at London’s Tower Bridge to welcome and watched the RMS St Helena’s memorable moment as she passed under Tower Bridge at 16.45 (BST) making her way alongside of HMS Belfast where she will be moored until Friday 10th June.

Among the crowd gathered were onlookers, some whom had travelled from the South of England and as far as Aberdeen in Scotland. Also viewing the moment were some former crew members of the old and new RMS, one of them being Carl Stroud who had travelled to the UK from the Falkland Islands and who had incidentally served on board the RMS for nine years during her service to the Island.Many of the viewers watching from the river banks along with crew members on board witnessed what they all described as a touching and emotional moment as the RMS sailed along the Thames escorted by two tugs.  “The RMS had been part our their lives for almost 26 years”

RMS St Helena on London visit
Crew on the Monkey Island of the RMS St Helena sailing on the River Thames in London

Audiences from around the world also watched live social media feeds such as face book, Instagram and twitter as the river journey unfolded.  Crew members and others on board posted images and  took selfies and posted them online as the RMS left Tilbury and made her journey towards the HMS Belfast.  Jackie Leo the Ships Hotel Services Officer posted a final image to mark the journeys end with a selfie alongside of the HMS Belfast “what a wonderful evening”

During the time The RMS is moored alongside of the HMS Belfast she will host invited guests at promotional events on board to promote St Helena as a tourist destination, one of the highlights will be the visit of the Princess Royal who will attend a reception on the Wednesday, Matt Gillian a Michelin star top UK chef who lives in Hampshire will also be in on board for a promotional event. Matt who was born in the UK but has a St Helenian heritage as his mother was born and bought up on the Island. Matt was also a winner of the Great British Menu a BBC TV series that was aired on British TV late last year. British TV presenter Tim Wonnacott who visited St Helena earlier this year was also a guest at Wednesday’s reception.

The RMS St Helena
The RMS St Helena passing through Tower Bridge

ITV and other media organisations covered the story of the RMS on British television emphasising on the history of the ship and St Helena’s new era of air travel that is about to change the island forever.  Captain Andrew Greentree the ship’s master spoke to BBC news about the life of the RMS and its important role to St Helena over the years, Jackie Leo said that St Helena is looking forward to international tourists arriving.  Mrs Kedall Worboys, St Helena’s UK representative also spoke to the news in an emotional speech about how proud she was of the RMS and its crew that sailed on her over the years. The RMS will depart London at around 17.30 on Friday the 10th June and will make her way down the River Thames and return to the Tilbury Cruise Terminal where she will be opened to the public for viewing on prearranged tour tickets that were available online a few weeks ago.  The RMS St Helena is scheduled to depart Tilbury at 16.00 on the Tuesday 14th June for St Helena.

RMS St Helena arriving at Tower Bridge London
Jackie Leo on board the RMS St Helena – London.

The RMS will continue to serve as the lifeline to the South Atlantic Islands and is scheduled to continue its service until the end of September, sailing between Cape

RMS
The RMS St Helena along side of HMS Belfast

Town, Ascension Island and St Helena.  Originally the RMS was scheduled to be

decommissioned and sold in July of this year shortly after the St Helena Airport was due to open in May of this year, however due to the wind shear and safety concerns at the airport the life of the RMS has been extended with the hope that procedures are put in place to enable commercial flight operations soon from the islands airport.

 

RMS St Helena schedule extended to maintain access to the Island.

An extended RMS shipping schedule has been published to maintain continued access to St Helena as a result of the ongoing issues with wind shear problems at the St Helena Airport. As a result of wind shear which was identified at the airport during the recent implementation test flight which raised safety concerns that has prevented future commercial operations to the Island. The interim solution to extend the RMS schedule will be reviewed should an air access solution be implemented quickly. The schedule which runs until the end of September 2016 will enable bookings to be taken from Monday 6th June 2016. Work continues to implement procedures to enable safe commercial operation to St Helena’s airport. The new schedule is now available on the RMS St Helena ‘s website

Free trip to the RMS St Helena

Further to the release of ticket information that was posted yesterday. It has been confirmed that the visit to the RMS St Helena in London will be freeof charge and will not attract any cost. Please remember ticket applications will begin at 10 am on Monday and a maximum of 4 tickets per application will be accepted via the online booking form. Please have personal details and photo I’D ready when booking here www.intercruises.com/rmssthelena

Weather conditions forces RMS St Helena to depart tristan early.

Enjoying-refreshments-at-Cafe-da-Cunha
Enjoying refreshments at Cafe da Cunha

The RMS St Helena departed Tristan da Cunha 24 hours earlier than scheduled on the Wednesday 20th April after weather conditions were forecasted to get worse that evening. Tristan’s tourism director said it is thought that 75 percent of the passengers on board of the RMS were RMS-embarking-last-of-the-visitorsable to get ashore for the short period on Wednesday after the bad sea conditions the day before made it impossible for passengers to get ashore. Shortly after the designated Governor Ms Lisa Phillips and Alex Cameron from FCO boarded the ship after a day ashore on the island meeting with Island officials, The RMS departed around 18.00 but could still be seen lit on the horizon

Last passengers to leave the tristan da Cunha Harbour
Last passengers to leave the tristan da Cunha Harbour

during the community party at the Prince Phillip Hall where the islanders were celebrating the recognition of the RMS and its last Journey and service to the Island as well as the celebration of her majesty’s the queen’s 90th Birthday. Tourism said that the Island was very busy and buzzing for the very short visit, passengers could be seen walking around the settlement and also relaxing and sampling the locally made snacks on sale at café da cunha (which is the local café hotspot for visitors)

Governor Ms Lisa Phillips and Alex Cameron
Governor Ms Lisa Phillips and Alex Cameron

Also on-board travelling on the RMS were a couple who were hoping to celebrate their five year of wedding anniversary on the Island. Departing on the RMS from Tristan was Island factory manager Mr Eric Mackenzie. The RMS will now arrive in Jamestown St Helena AM on Monday which is a day earlier than scheduled. The welcoming of designated governor Ms Lisa Phillips will now take place on Monday and not on Tuesday as originally planned. The Inauguration Ceremony will also take place on Monday shortly after the ships arrival.

Weather upsets final call of RMS at Tristan da Cunha

RMS St Helena at Tristan da cunha - Credit to TDC post office
RMS St Helena at Tristan da cunha – credit to TDC post office

The RMS St Helena entered the port entrance of Edinburgh, Tristan da Cunha at 09:38 on Tuesday 19th April on her final call to the Island before she is removed from her service in the South Atlantic. On arrival at the Islands port the sea conditions were not favourable and the contributing high winds made it unsafe for offloading of cargo and passenger’s. The entire Island was preparing for the ships final visit along with passengers and also St Helena,s new Governor H.E Lisa Phillips who was staying over night on Island.The RMS continued onto the leeward side of Inaccessible Island which is 30 kms away from Tristan. An assessment of the weather will be made today to attempt offloading and disembarkation of passengers, however local sources on Tristan commented to said it dont look favourable.

Updated 08:00 200416:  The port authorities will launch one of their boats at 8.30 am local time to go along side of the ship to make an assessment of the situation and if it is safe the Governor an Alex Cameron from FCO will disembark followed by passenger’s. It is also thought locally on Tristan that the weather will begin to deteriorate again tonight so this will be the best possible window of opportunity.

Updated 13.00 200416. Some passengers were able to get ashore onto the Island along with the H.E Lisa Philips and Alex Cameron from FCO.

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.

Live streaming and road show with Atlantic Star Airlines


Congratulations to Johnny & Richard for yesterday’s success of the live streaming via the St Helena local Facebook page. www.facebook.com/sthelenalocal/ Do log onto the link below (courtesy of Johnny Clingham) – the discussion provides some very useful information about A Star flight services. Whilst Johnny &Richard were engaging with saints on line yesterday with questions and answers, I was with Aiden & Andy (the other two Directors of A Star), meeting with saints & others at Peter Jones, Sloane Square, London. Many thanks to those who attended or dialled in. Both events were a huge success. Next week I will be with the Directors at a second event in Swindon. This is an opportunity to meet face to face and find out more about what A Star has to offer. A gentle reminder about where/when this is taking place:

Great Western Hotel

73 Station Road

Swindon

SN1 1DH

Time 1.30pm – 4pm

A link to the original video is here www.facebook.com/sthelenalocal/

A copy will be available shortly on the Atlantic Star Airlines website.  a. Thanks. G-Jack Thomas Please Share with your friends.

Updated a low bandwidth audio only copy is here for St Helena and The Falkland Island viewers or other capped internet users

 

 

We are going live with Atlantic Star Airlines

We are going live with Richard Brown from Atlantic Star Airlines on the 16th April 2016 with a question and answer session. This is a live streaming video question and answer session . As you all

Atlantic star goes live
Atlantic star goes live

know A-Star will take off from the UK (May 2016) and provide a long haul charter flight direct to St Helena, this is your opportunity to be bought up to date with the latest on A-star and the chance to ask and discuss with A-Star what they can offer St Helena passengers on the London to St Helena Charter. Providing we have no technical issues the live stream is intended to be streamed to our face book timeline live at approximately 10.00 GMT or 11.00 UK time. Our face book page is here www.facebook.com/sthelenalocal/ If you have any questions on the live stream the process is simple and easy. . Wait for the stream to appear on our timeline www.facebook.com/sthelenalocal/ . Add your questions into the comments below the live stream. . We will ask the question and A-Star director Rich Brown will give his views and answer your questions. Depending on the amount of interest we hope that we can ask all of the questions submitted. Do you have a question and don’t want to have it asked on the time line? Feel free to Email them to hellosthelena@sthelenalocal.com or PM us here www.facebook.com/st.helena1 Don’t forget to like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/sthelenalocal/ or visit our website www.sthelenalocal.com We look forward to receiving your questions for A-Star by 09.00 GMT.

BNS Araguari arriving in James bay this morning

The Brazilian Naval offshore patrol ship Araguari has just arrived (0800) in James bay. The Araguari will remain in James bay until 10 am tomorrow. 

An evening reception for the ships company is planned for this evening at the Briars.

The RMS St Helena is also due to depart St Helena today.

More info to follow.