Authorities in Namibia have denied Airlink (South Africa) (4Z, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) the 5th Freedom traffic rights needed to offer passengers from Cape Town, onward passage to St. Helena using Windhoek Int'l as a point of embarkation.

The carrier had earlier planned to use the rights to add passengers to its Johannesburg O.R. Tambo-St. Helena service which uses the Namibian capital as a technical stop on both sectors of the return service.

"Airlink will continue working with the South African Aeronautical Authority to resolve the aeropolitical constraints that have unexpectedly brought about the discontinuation," it said.

Passengers from Cape Town looking to travel to St Helena must now do so from Johannesburg, which is connected to the remote South Atlantic island using a weekly EMB-190-operated service. As a result of the traffic rights issue, return flights from St. Helena to Johannesburg will now operate non-stop when possible with the EMB-190's range considering wind conditions on the operating days of the route.