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St. Helena Service

Old 29th Mar 2015, 22:21
  #21 (permalink)  
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A suggestion from left-field, but still curious...what about a weekly TFS/LPA one day? Both offer a truly vast selection of onward European connections.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 22:50
  #22 (permalink)  
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Who would operate it? Yes they offer connections but it would require 2 bookings and flying with someone like TCX/TOM/EZY/LS/DE/AB etc.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 16:35
  #23 (permalink)  
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Just thinking hypothetically, somewhat outside the box and a few years hence - working on the assumption that the new airport won't be capable of taking large aircraft. London to St Helena is approx 4000 NM whereas from the Canaries its 2,650 NM. Would this not put them within range for some of the smaller equipment the European carriers have available?

Demand obviously depends on the tourism product available in St Helena, but for the UK/German market a change of planes in Tenerife or Gran Canaria would be 5 hours less than a return trip via Jo'burg assuming equal stopover time, and I dare say a little more desirable.

Not talking down the Johannesburg route here, I'm floating an option for a future route north.

Last edited by sunday8pm; 30th Mar 2015 at 16:55.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 18:32
  #24 (permalink)  
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Who's got the ATC contract at St. Helena?
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 19:25
  #25 (permalink)  
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Sunday8pm - the main issue with your suggestion is alternates. Ascension cannot be filed as an alternate, and the other options give rise to real problems in payload/range calcs.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 22:25
  #26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BasilBush View Post
Sunday8pm - the main issue with your suggestion is alternates. Ascension cannot be filed as an alternate, and the other options give rise to real problems in payload/range calcs.
Thanks. You'll know the answer to this better than I, but could a 320/737 not make it from TFS/LPA with Luanda as an alternate?

Last edited by sunday8pm; 31st Mar 2015 at 11:20.
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 10:16
  #27 (permalink)  
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Ihla do Sal in the Cape Verde Islands would be a possible on a southerly routing.In days of Yore, South African Airways big orange tails used to `fly round the bulge`from places like LHR,Lisbon, Rome,Paris etc all the way to Jo Burg and Capetown with a splash and dash at Ihla north and south..

They did it with fuel hungry 707`s then 747`s for many years..No real alternates in those days, just hope and pray ...but they did it
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 14:23
  #28 (permalink)  
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Indeed they did paully and 'flying round the bulge' was the reason they became a customer for the 747 SP, along with other carriers who had to make diverse routings for political reasons. I 'bounced' at SID a few times in the small hours of the morning. You stayed onboard and were only on the ground for about 75 minutes.
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 14:52
  #29 (permalink)  
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I don't know the answer to your question about Luanda.

Another problem with your suggestion is the issue of duty hours. Would the same crew be able to fly out and back? If not, wouldn't they be faced with carrying a spare crew (not sure of the regs on that) or alternatively slipping crews in St Helena who would then have to wait for the next flight in (say) a week's time? That would be expensive, and there isn't much hotel accommodation on the island anyway...

I'm not trying to be negative, but the peculiarities of St Helena's location mean that a lot of the otherwise sensible suggestions made on this thread aren't really practicable.
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 15:49
  #30 (permalink)  
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I'm assuming of course that a northern Europe - St Helena route is not possible due to restrictions on the size of aircraft the new airport can welcome, for whatever reason. I'm wondering whether the Canaries might be near enough as at 2700nm they're in range for smaller types. Las Palmas to St Helena would be approximately 6 - 6.5 hours, could the aircraft overnight there?

With the Canaries being so accessible for the western European population, and their tourist infrastructure so developed, it would (perhaps) be easier to get the bums to the seats for a St Helena flight than if it were taking off from Accra or Lagos.

The long-term purpose of this airport is surely to bring in tourists so the island can become more self sufficient. As you hint, the tourism product will have to develop on the island before that's possible.

I just don't see European tourists getting there with a change in Jo'burg. A 16 hour trip costing £1300 wouldn't represent value for money. As I mention above, the Jo'burg route is fine for servicing the island, and will get use from locals and South Africans alike, but whether it alone will bring much money into St Helena I'm not so sure.

Last edited by sunday8pm; 31st Mar 2015 at 16:09.
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 13:20
  #31 (permalink)  
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1st flight to new airport St Helena

The first flight to touch down on the new runway at St Helena is on the way, due about 14.00 today 15 Sept. It will be doing calibration flights from there for the next few days.

Follow flight on:

Additional info on Twitter:

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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 20:36
  #32 (permalink)  
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First Flight Landing
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Old 23rd Sep 2015, 09:17
  #33 (permalink)  
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Thanks for sharing that Racedo..was great
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Old 23rd Sep 2015, 10:15
  #34 (permalink)  
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On a light note, I recall during a visit to St Helena, being told by the Governor that, in the past, children born to local ladies who had become particularly close to visiting sailors were registered under the surname "Shipman".

Let's hope that, in the future, it won't be necessary to register children under the surname "Airman".......

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Old 23rd Sep 2015, 22:19
  #35 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Charley B View Post
Thanks for sharing that Racedo..was great

Welcome, got it by accident and figured should share as really is big deal for there.
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Old 27th Sep 2015, 16:18
  #36 (permalink)  
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More about the calibration flights

Hi, follow this link to get some more info
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Old 12th Oct 2015, 12:49
  #37 (permalink)  
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Some rumours about the calibration are saying a reconfig may be neccessary and then more flights to test the system.

More concrete news on the flights to Ascension Island from St Helena online:
Monthly flights between St Helena and Ascension Island have been negotiated, after months of discontent over the vital link being excluded from the original deal with winning contractor Comair. Each month, of the the airline’s Saturday flights from Johannesburg will land at St Helena and then continue on to Ascension for an overnight stop, before a return flight on the same route. Executive councillor Lawson Henry had led angry calls for a way to be found for Saints working on Ascension and the Falklands to be able to fly home without expensive detours of many thousands of miles. Ascension Island Government acknowledge support from Governor Mark Capes and Enterprise St Helena in applying pressure for the link to be provided.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 16:09
  #38 (permalink)  
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now that makes sense - RAF to Ascension and then onwards to St Helena and Serf Efrika looks like a nice trip..........
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Old 16th Oct 2015, 16:29
  #39 (permalink)  
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Further to my previous report about rumours about possible recalibration being needed after the calibration flights etc see the following report from the St Helena Independent:

The team from Flight Calibration Services Limited (FCSL) and
TAB Charters - who made the first ever landing at St Helena
Airport and carried out a series of calibration flights between
15 and 23 September 2015 - has now submitted their preliminary
findings and Basil Read is in the process of undertaking
corrective actions.
As is normal after initial calibration testing of navigational
aids, there are corrections which Basil Read will now make.
The majority of these are minor tweaks to equipment, but in
a few cases some redesign and relocation work might be
required. This includes the Localiser and DVOR. Basil Read
is working with Thales and FCSL to carry out modelling work
to inform the design and determine the extent of the rectification
work. FCSL will return to the Island, possibly in the
latter part of 2015 or early 2016, to recalibrate the NavAids
following the rectification work.
Basil Read Island Director Deon de Jager said:
“Calibration work generally results in the need for corrective
action and the teams in Basil Read and Thales are currently
working on solutions. Calibration is an ongoing requirement
to maintain Certification and is of the utmost importance in
ensuring the accuracy and effective functioning of the
“The calibration flights are serving their purpose in helping us
to achieve a world class facility for St Helena. In operating
the Airport, safety and security will always be our primary
Further details on the second calibration flight will follow in
due course.
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Old 17th Oct 2015, 12:48
  #40 (permalink)  
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St Helena is just a very isolated village and thus will never have mass tourism or much in the way of scheduled service.
Tourism will have to be very expensive to make it viable so rich people who want to see where Napolean died or go somewhere none of their friends have been will be the target.

I don't see them wanting to spend 5 hours ina ancient 733 configured for SAF internals .
But this sort of tourist is also the market sector covered by the specialised hi value hi cost organised 'world tours' where you visit eight or nine diverse and special locations over two or three weeks on a dedicated plane. The mighty 75 is a favourite for this kind of trip and they it seems can operate safely out of SHL so I can certainly see opportunities for addressing this top end market as an interesting stop over for a couple of days on a bespoke trip.

While I am well aware that Ascension is a military/spooky location and cannot be filed as an alternate it has I believe been used as such -Dl777 JNB-ATL so tis there if its really needed,

Its a heck of a lot of money though to build any form of acceptable airfield for such a tiny tiny market
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