Regional airline Airlink (South Africa) (4Z, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) may resume flights to St. Helena, a remote British Overseas Territory located in the South Atlantic, in September 2021, pending the removal of South Africa from the UK’s COVID-19 red list, says Chief Executive Officer Rodger Foster.

He told ch-aviation that in terms of current UK restrictions on flights from South Africa, Airlink’s flights between Johannesburg O.R. Tambo and St. Helena Island remained grounded until the end of August 2021. He said the situation was reviewed weekly in consultation with the St. Helena Island government, “with the view of the possibility of re-opening flights from September”. Airlink used to serve the island weekly in addition to bi-weekly onward charter services to Ascension Island, using ERJ 190-100ARs, which are rated for ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operations Performance Standards) operations.

The St. Helena Island government, on April 1, 2021, repealed entry restrictions after having completed the vaccination of all of the island’s 3,528 residents by April 24, 2021.

A charter flight, operated by Titan Airways (ZT, London Stansted), is scheduled to arrive at St. Helena on May 12, 2021, from London Stansted via Accra, on-warding from St. Helena to Georgetown Wideawake on Ascension Island. The flight had been delayed by 48-hours due to bad weather on the island.

While travellers can now enter St. Helena via air and sea, COVID-19 preventative measures remain in place on the island. This includes testing on arrival, mandatory 14-day quarantine, and a negative test result is required before the mandatory quarantine period is deemed to be complete. Any charter flights to St. Helena are also restricted to 96 passengers because this aligns with the island’s COVID-19 testing and quarantine security system capacity.