Saturday (14 October 2017) marked the first scheduled commerical airline service to Jamestown on the island of St. Helena in the south Atlantic Ocean. The first flight to the airport occurred on 15 September 2015 using a Beechcraft King Air 2000 but that was a test flight. Saturday's flight marks the commencement of weekly commercial airline service, which will replace service every three weeks by the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) St. Helena.
The remote island is known as the location to which French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled (and where he died) after his defeat in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Serving about 5,900 current residents of the island plus visitors, the British media have called the £285-million ($380-million) airport "the most useless airport in the world" due to the high cost of building and oprating an airport for such a small population.
Today's Featured Map illustrates the route of the innaugural flight of SA 8131 from Johannesburg which was operated by SA Airlink using an Embraer E190-100LR aircraft (ZS-YAB) carrying 78 passengers. The flight included a stop in Windhoek, currently a technical stop since the aircraft must ferry fuel for its nreturn flight although Airlink hopes to secure Fifth Freedom rights which ill allow it to carry local traffic between Windhoek and St. Helena. Also shown are Airlink's connecting service to from Cape Town and planned monthly charter service to Georgetown on Ascension Island.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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