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St. Helena Service

Old 28th Apr 2017, 05:23
  #561 (permalink)  
 
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I really hope Atlantic Star get the contract to provide an air service to and from St Helena. They are the only ones who have taken time to visit the Island to talk to Islanders, they've tried landing etc with different aircraft and have been as open as they can about their attempts to provide a service.
The only problem that may stand in their way is the existing scheduled contract with Comair and the attitude of SHG towards them, Are there any other things that could be a problem beside hiring or buying a plane for the service?
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Old 28th Apr 2017, 07:06
  #562 (permalink)  
 
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Are there any other things that could be a problem beside hiring or buying a plane for the service?
Generally speaking charterers of a long-term contract prefer not to go for 'one hit wonders'.

From what I've read on here Atlantic Star don't actually even have an aircraft, never mind a fleet of aircraft, of their own, that they coerced a somewhat geriatric BAe146 jet in to St Helena that would need adapting, modifications, to operate any SH route and even then with reduced payload.

Were I SHG I would be questioning:

1. What is your back up plan in event of any technical problem and in particular regarding heavy maintenance checks, and:

2. What is your plan for the future once BAe146's are retired to their graveyards?

On the other hand Embraer went in to SH with a shiny new jet and, again from what I've read, there is an operator to acquire a few of these shiny new jets.

If there were only one bidder of a single geriatric jet then desperation calls for desperate measures, but should there be two or more bidders then .....
Harry Wayfarers is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2017, 17:09
  #563 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ddraig Goch View Post
I really hope Atlantic Star get the contract to provide an air service to and from St Helena. They are the only ones who have taken time to visit the Island to talk to Islanders, they've tried landing etc with different aircraft and have been as open as they can about their attempts to provide a service.
The only problem that may stand in their way is the existing scheduled contract with Comair and the attitude of SHG towards them, Are there any other things that could be a problem beside hiring or buying a plane for the service?
Atlantic Star have never tried landing on St. Helena with different aircraft. They only once were observing passengers on the Avro operated and flown by Tronos. It also seems Atlantic Star could neither commercially operate nor charter an aircraft as they would need an AOC Air Operator Certificate or / and a Tour Operator Licence, be bonded and offer ATOL protection to passengers. In the past other licensed companies were supposed to offer actual services on their behalf (e.g. Travelpack, TUI and others).
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Old 1st May 2017, 23:35
  #564 (permalink)  
 
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An Avro RJ85 operated by SA Airlink will fly from CPT to HLE via MSZ on Wed. morning with about 60 passengers. The 1031 nm leg from MSZ to HLE is at the range limit at long range cruise with reserves for the RJ 85. The same day return will be via WDH to CPT.
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Old 2nd May 2017, 12:01
  #565 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by lolder View Post
An Avro RJ85 operated by SA Airlink will fly from CPT to HLE via MSZ on Wed. morning with about 60 passengers. The 1031 nm leg from MSZ to HLE is at the range limit at long range cruise with reserves for the RJ 85. The same day return will be via WDH to CPT.
They should ask Lamia to operate this route - I'm sure they could manage a much higher load factor.

All sarcasm aside I'm happy to see that some sort of regular service is apparently nearing.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 15:43
  #566 (permalink)  
 
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Atlantic Star have posted on FB that they "haven't been invited to take part in the next stage of the process".

What's the next stage?

Atlantic Star unsuccessful in St.Helena Air Access Competition

On Friday 28th April St.Helena Government informed the team at Atlantic Star and Cello Aviation that they will not be invited to participate in the next phase of the Air Access tender process.

Naturally everyone within the Atlantic Star and Cello teams is extremely disappointed with this outcome, having produced an extremely comprehensive bid centred on putting in place an airline dedicated to growing with St.Helena's future travel needs and employing Saints from day one.

Atlantic Star and Cello Aviation maintain a passion for St.Helena and the Saint community and both companies will continue to work towards providing independent air travel solutions that meet the needs of Saints and the tourism market. The UK will always be the primary origin for travelers to St.Helena and Atlantic Star will focus on innovative solutions that best meet this need.

We wish the Air Access team at St.Helena Government every success in the continuing Air Access tender process and thank them for the time and consideration that they have given to our proposal.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 16:38
  #567 (permalink)  
 
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I've always thought the spare BA A318 (soon to be with Titan) would be an ideal aircraft for this mission - as long as subsidies were forthcoming.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 19:57
  #568 (permalink)  
 
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I thought the point of the airport was to reduce subsidies to St. Helena?
Obviously there are issues with the airport but a commercially viable service (without subsidy) should still be the goal.
Not easy, I know, given the operating conditions. Frustrating I'm sure, to everyone involved - operators, tourists, islanders...
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Old 4th May 2017, 05:08
  #569 (permalink)  
 
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The Airlink Avro RJ 85 successfully completed it's planed mission to HLE from CPT and return today.
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Old 4th May 2017, 11:39
  #570 (permalink)  
 
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The 1031 nm leg from MSZ to HLE is at the range limit at long range cruise with reserves for the RJ 85.
Whilst I am not aware of the fuel policy at Airlink, I am presuming the reserves are two hours fuel to circle (aka island reserve) as they won't have enough to divert anywhere else.
Mister Geezer is offline  
Old 4th May 2017, 16:45
  #571 (permalink)  
 
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Great to see the first commercial flight with Saints aboard landing at St Helena Airport. It's sad that Atlantic Star didn't get the air contract, possibly due to what Harry Wayfares and Volare7266 have said above.

Links to St Helena news etc on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/560571324116728/

You tube :

Ddraig Goch is offline  
Old 4th May 2017, 17:43
  #572 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Mister Geezer View Post
Whilst I am not aware of the fuel policy at Airlink, I am presuming the reserves are two hours fuel to circle (aka island reserve) as they won't have enough to divert anywhere else.
It's a little less than 2 hours up to Ascension 700 nm. away also. We talking about only 1000 lbs. of fuel difference probably.
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Old 4th May 2017, 18:14
  #573 (permalink)  
 
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Ascension is closed for the foreseeable though, so not really an option for the time being.
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Old 5th May 2017, 09:37
  #574 (permalink)  
 
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Is it 100% closed ? I understand there are substantial runway repairs in progress but is it completely unserviceable, even for emergencies ? No flights in / out ?
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Old 5th May 2017, 11:26
  #575 (permalink)  
 
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Flights between the UK and Ascension Island | Ascension Island
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Old 5th May 2017, 13:03
  #576 (permalink)  
 
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From what I've seen the MoD/RAF South Atlantic Schedule has been operating via Dakar recently?
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Old 5th May 2017, 14:03
  #577 (permalink)  
 
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The bit there about Ascension being closed "because the A330 is too heavy to land there" is obviously written by a civil servant who thinks we are all idiots. Why ever was an aircraft contracted in the first place which is too heavy, when other types (a range of different ones, up to the 747) have operated the route quite alright. If it has been allowed to fall into some state of disrepair, that should be stated.

I would have thought that if it really is a runway strength issue, the obvious thing is to extend the Avro RJ run from Saint Helena to Ascension. Problem solved ?
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Old 5th May 2017, 15:38
  #578 (permalink)  
 
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They have said recent heavy rains have damaged the runway. This runway has just sort of grown over the decades. It's not very level and kind of undulates over the volcanic terrain. The Avro wont be servicing St. Helena. This was a one-off charter flight that had to go to Namibe in Angola just to reach ST. Helena at maximum range and reduced payload. Africa's corrupt aviation politics reared it's ugly head as there was a delay over who was going to pay for the re-fueling.
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Old 5th May 2017, 17:15
  #579 (permalink)  
 
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Going back to Ascension for a moment , isnt the airport actually a US Airforce base? Wasn't it built by the US military in WW 2 as part of a long way round route across South Atlantic and Africa to get to the middle east avoiding Europe for obvious reasons.
If so isnt it up to them to fix it and advise the status of the runway?
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Old 5th May 2017, 19:48
  #580 (permalink)  
 
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Click the link to see more info re the flight from Cape Town and Ascension Island runway problems from the St Helena Independent :

Latest issues | The St Helena Independent | St Helena's 1st ever online newspaper
Ddraig Goch is offline  

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