Airlink, Southern Africa’s largest airline has announced it is preparing to increase the frequency of flights between Johannesburg and Jamestown, St Helena Island.
The carrier has been operating a fortnightly service to the Island this year and is now moving 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 will 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.
The Island’s only scheduled air service
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 and until the bio-security restrictions are lifted on 08 August, visitors to the island are still required to quarantine and are also subject to testing and vaccination requirements.
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)