Atlantic Star Airlines (London Luton) is looking into the possibility of serving the remote British Overseas Territory of St. Helena with an ARJ-100 equipped with added fuel tanks.

Speaking to the Aviation Tribune, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Brown said the quadjet would prove ideal for the island given its strong performance when landing on limited runways in tailwind conditions.

During several test flights in April, it was discovered that the newly constructed runway 02/20 was prone to windshear especially for aircraft on finals into 20. As such, its May opening to commercial traffic was scrapped to allow for further safety and operational work. As a consequence, Atlantic Star was forced to defer its London Luton-Banjul-St Helena fortnightly service, operated using a B737-800 chartered from TUI fly (Netherlands) (OR, Amsterdam Schiphol), to October. Given current operational conditions, it is likely that date will be deferred as well.

"Intensive work continues to mitigate the challenges of windshear at the Airport but getting this right involves complex work and will take some time," the St Helena government said. "Computer and physical modelling are being employed to build a stronger picture of the conditions under which we will be asking aircraft to operate."

In the event the airfield is eventually opened to commercial traffic, Atlantic Star sees potential in developing short- and medium-range services to nearby Georgetown Wideawake, Walvis Bay, Cape Town and Johannesburg O.R. Tambo. Furthermore, Brown says the carrier could also link the island with Accra, Ghana as well as South America and the Canaries.

Later this week, Atlantic Star will ferry an aircraft of the type from Zurich to Punta Arenas, Chile via Georgetown Wideawake and St Helena Airport on the same day.