Airlink prepares to increase service to St Helena Island

Airlink prepares to increase service to St Helena Island
This astronaut photograph shows the island’s sharp peaks and deep ravines; the rugged topography results from erosion of the volcanic rocks that make up the island. The change in elevation from the coast to the interior creates a climate gradient. The higher, wetter centre is covered with green vegetation, whereas the lower coastal areas are drier and hotter, with little vegetation cover.

Airlink, Southern Africa’s premier airline, is preparing to increase the frequency of flights between Johannesburg and Jamestown, St Helena Island to a weekly service from 15 October 2022.

This is in line with plans by the St Helena Government to lift COVID-19 quarantine, testing and mask-wearing restrictions from 08 August 2022 and the reopening of tourism facilities, including the South Atlantic island’s Mantis hotel, which is planning to open its doors again, from mid-October.

“Airlink is preparing to ramp-up services between the African mainland and St Helena, with a view to returning to weekly flights by mid-October. St Helena is a unique destination with a community of 4 200 people. To date, it has managed to avoid exposure to the various strains of COVID-19. Airlink is working in tandem with the local authorities and St Helena’s tourism and hospitality sector, to safely increase flights to and from the island,” explained Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.

Airlink operates a modern 98-seat Embraer E-190 jetliner on the Johannesburg-St Helena route, with flights refuelling en route at Walvis Bay on the Namibian coast. The total journey time is approximately six hours.

In addition, Airlink provides a monthly charter air service between St Helena and Ascension Island, which are almost 1,300kms apart.

Airlink began flying the Johannesburg-Jamestown route in November 2017 under contract to the St Helena Government and it is the island’s only scheduled airline service. After the COVID pandemic caused an almost two-year hiatus to the service, Airlink resumed flights with a fortnightly service in March this year. Although 98 percent of St Helena residents are vaccinated, most have not been exposed to COVID-19 or any of its variants. Until its COVID entry restrictions are lifted on 08 August, visitors to the island are required to quarantine and must comply with testing requirements.

Customers can book and manage Airlink journeys and find information about health and safety onboard Airlink flights on the website, Airlink’s smartphone app or through travel agents.

Flight Schedule with effect from 15 Oct 2022

4Z 131 depart Johannesburg 09.00 arrive Jamestown 13.25 on Saturdays
(the west-bound flight includes a 30min refuelling stop at Walvis Bay)

4Z 132 depart Jamestown 14.30 arrive Johannesburg 21.15 on Saturdays
(the east-bound flight is non-stop)