The United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence (MOD) has advised that it has suspended South Atlantic Airbridge operations at Ascension Island's Georgetown Wideawake airfield, due to the condition of the runway there.

The island is used as a stopover for the Royal Air Force's South Atlantic Airbridge which connects Mount Pleasant, in the Falkland Islands, with Brize Norton on the United Kingdom mainland. The flights operate using AirTanker (9L, Brize Norton) A330-200s and, according to Flightradar24 ADS-B data, have been using Dakar Yoff-Léopold Sédar Senghor Int'l, Senegal, as an intermediate stopover since April 16.

A spokesperson for the UK Government has confirmed that the runway is to be replaced. "The MOD is working with the USAF [United States Air Force] to monitor and repair issues with the runway surface, to mitigate transportation impacts, and to prepare for full runway replacement.”

In the meantime, the Government of Ascension Island has announced that the island's travel agency is unable to process any further flight bookings until the status of Wideawake's 3,000 metre-long asphalt runway 13/31 is clarified. Emergency medical evacuation flights are not affected.

Located in the South Atlantic Ocean 1,600 kilometres from continental Africa and 2,250 kilometres from Brazil, the St. Helena and Ascension islands are among the most remote inhabited islands in the world. Despite its location, Ascension Island is home to RAF Ascension Island, a European Space Agency rocket tracking station, a joint US-British signals intelligence facility, and the BBC World Service Atlantic Relay Station.