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Location map:
Location Map flyhere Saint Helena Island Info Fly here

Fly here

The fastest way to get here

Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
Lord Kelvin, 1902

Flying is the fastest way to get to St Helena…


Fly here Saint Helena Island Info

Ways to get here Saint Helena Island Info Fly here

Other ‘getting here’ pages:

• Getting Here

• Yachting

• Cruise Ship Days

• Fly Yourself Here

• Visitor Information

Below: Scheduled Commercial Air Service • Check-in times • Other Airport Uses • ‘Category C’ • Other Flying Things • St Helena Airport Game • Poem • Read More

This page is about our operational airport. You can also read about its construction.

To find accommodation here please see our Where To Stay page.

Please note: the timetables shown below are the standard weekly flight schedule. Attitional flights may be offered at certain times. Check all details with your travel agent.

Scheduled Commercial Air Service

Below: South Africa - St Helena • St Helena - Ascension Island • Tickets, Etc.

Note that the announced service included a connection to Cape Town (CPT) from Windhoek (WDH), but this was not able to operate due to legal difficulties with the Namibian authorities. For the time being, therefore, passengers flying to or from Cape Town must therefore use the regular Cape Town / Johannesburg services and join the flight to St Helena at Johannesburg. You can read the announcement from the Government of St Helena.

South Africa - St Helena

Poster Saint Helena Island Info Fly here

Route Map Saint Helena Island Info Fly here
Route Map
First scheduled commercial air service flight lands 14th October 2017 Saint Helena Island Info Fly here
First scheduled commercial air service flight lands, 14th October 2017

The scheduled commercial air service to St Helena commenced on 14th October 2017. Provided by SA Airlink (‘Airlink’) on contract to the Government of St Helena, it operates weekly on a Saturday from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a connection from Cape Town. There is a stopover at Windhoek International Airport in Namibia. Return flights are normally the same day, but not in the week of the monthly call to Ascension Island (see the note below). Two classes are available: Business and Economy, with a total of 76 seats available.


























St Helena - Ascension Island

A monthly service is provided between St Helena and Ascension Island. The arriving aircraft from South Africa continues to Ascension, returning the following day (Sunday). On this week, therefore, the return flight to South Africa is on the Sunday, rather than the Saturday. The Ascension service operates on the Second Saturday of every month.




















Overnight stop













Tickets, Etc.

For prices, availability and to purchase a ticket go to or any IATA Travel Agent.


Checked Baggage

Carry On
Each piece should not exceed 8kg

Business Class


2 Pieces plus 1 slimline laptop bag

Economy Class


1 Piece plus 1 slimline laptop bag

SA Airlink is a member of the South African Airways Frequent Flyer Programme ‘Voyager’.

Airport entrance 2017 Saint Helena Island Info Fly here
Airport entrance, 2017{1}{b}

Check-in times

Check-in hurry Saint Helena Island Info Fly here

Ever wondered why you are asked to turn up such a long time before the flight departs? After all, it’s not as if St Helena Airport is big and you have to travel miles to get to the departure gate. There aren’t thousands of passengers simultaneously trying to get through check-in and security. They don’t even have to allow time for you to get lost and be found before your flight departs. The whole process for all the passenges should take about half-an-hour; an hour tops. So why is ‘Turn-up time’ 11am for a 1pm flight?

The answer is both simple and, you might think, typically St Helena. You see, there is only one set of customs and immigration officials, and they can only be in one place at a time. They can’t be checking the new arrivals (making sure they’re not international terrorists and that they have all paid their entry fees and declared their second litre of Scotch) and at the same time checking the departing passengers for smuggled Wirebirds, etc. So the outbound passengers have to be inspected and documented first, and then the team moves to the arrivals area to deal with the national treats posed by the incoming tourists.

Puzzle explained!

Airport terminal plan Saint Helena Island Info Fly here
Airport terminal plan{c}

Other Airport Uses

From the air Saint Helena Island Info Fly here
From the air{d}

Below: Fly here in your private plane? • Medical Evacuation (‘Medevac’) • Charter Flights

Fly here in your private plane?

If you have your own private plane flying to St Helena has possible since the airport was completed in 2016. See our Fly Yourself Here page for more.

Medical Evacuation (‘Medevac’)

Since it was completed in 2016 the airport has been used for Medical Evacuations. As at December 2016 it had saved two lives; people who would not have survived the seven day sea voyage to Cape Town.

Charter Flights

Charter Flights have been flying here since the airport was completed in 2016. The first tourists to travel by charter flight arrived on 13th July 2016, a family of three brought by Antwerp aviation company ‘The Aviation Factory’, using a Bombardier Challenger 300. Basil Read have used many charter flights to rotate its airport staff.

In May 2017 a charter flight was organised by the Government of St Helena to bring home Saints stranded in Cape Town by a breakdown of the RMS St Helena. Flight SA8878, a British Aerospace 146 Avro RJ85, flew from Cape Town via a refuelling stop in Walvis Bay, Namibia, arriving at about 2pm on Wednesday 3rd May. Governor Phillips was on the flight. It then returned to Cape Town to carry people on St Helena who needed to leave.

Pre-check-in Saint Helena Island Info Fly here

Check-in Saint Helena Island Info Fly here

Island from the air Saint Helena Island Info Fly here
Island from the air{e}

Landing Saint Helena Island Info Fly here

Airport busy! Saint Helena Island Info Fly here
Airport busy!{g}


On 2nd October 2018 the Government of St Helena announced that it had terminated its contract with Basil Read for operation of the Airport and other construction works. Three days later on the 5th it announced that its new company, St Helena Airport Limited, has been certified to operate the Airport. The air service has not been affected by the changeover.

‘Category C’


Our airport has been designated ‘Category C’. This is basically an assessment of the risk involved in using the airfield, with ‘A’ being the least risky.

A Category ‘A’ airfield satisfies all of the following requirements:

A Category ‘B’ airfield is an airfield which does not satisfy all of the Category ‘A’ airfield requirements, or which requires extra considerations such as:

A Category ‘C’ airfield requires additional considerations to a Category ‘B’ airfield and is considered to pose certain problems for the approach and/or landing and/or take-off.

For reference, three of the Category ‘C’ airfields in Europe are London City [EGLC], Gibraltar [LXGB] and Funchal, Madeira [LPMA].

The Airport Saint Helena Island Info Fly here
The Airport{h}

Other Flying Things

Air Traffic Control Zones Saint Helena Island Info Fly here

Naturally, the new airport requires restrictions on what else can be flying over St Helena. The Aviation Ordinance was enacted early in 2015 and designates an Aerodrome Traffic Zone ‘ATZ’ (broadly, the approach and departure area) and a Control Zone ‘CTR’ (the immediate vicinity of the airport. The diagram (right) illustrates these.

The rules depend on what it is you intend to fly. In addition to normal aircraft (which, presumably, you will to fly into or out of the airport, so formal Air Traffic Control procedures must be observed), the restrictions also cover:

Whether wind-blown litter is covered is not clear.

The rules also prohibit shining bright lights into the sky, which have the ability to dazzle and disorientate pilots at a time when they are most busy.

You can download a summary of the regulations.

Drone Zones Map

Drone Zones Map Saint Helena Island Info Fly here
Drone Zones Map{c}

St Helena Airport Game

St Helena Airport Game from the Google™ Play store Saint Helena Island Info Fly here

In August 2016 a computer game became available on the Google™ Play store, which allows you to land a (small) plane on St Helena Airport. We are told that the game features a reasonably realistic portrayal of St Helena…and even incorporates Windshear!

A second airport game was launched in 2018. The new ‘X-Plane’ extension pack allows users to fly to St Helena Airport with a variety of planes, including two (the Boeing 737-800 and Avro RJ-85) which are only available in the St Helena pack, which also features realistic St Helena scenery including Jamestown at night. Players can tackle Windshear, which the game’s website says only excellent pilots can manage. More at

Airport 2017 Saint Helena Island Info Fly here


From the ground
one sees only the butt ends of the clouds
those bits of the blanket
tucked under.

one sees across the counterpane
rumpled, morning white
as if the earth had spent another restless night.{i}

Airport from the air Saint Helena Island Info Fly here

Read More

Below: Article: First commercial flight touches down at St Helena • Article: New Air Link and Luxury Hotel Will Transform Tourism on Tiny, Remote St Helena • Estimated international arrivals

More stories on our page Read articles about St Helena.

WARNING: For the avoidance of doubt, you participate in any activities described herein entirely at your own risk.


Article: First commercial flight touches down at St Helena, 14th October 2017{2}

St Helena Airport was built with £285 million of funding from the Department for International Development Saint Helena Island Info Fly here
St Helena Airport was built with £285 million of funding from the Department for International Development

The long-awaited first scheduled airline service to the British overseas territory of St Helena has landed on the remote South Atlantic island.

True to the much-maligned airport’s chequered history, it was late.

The UK taxpayer-funded development saw 78 commercial airline passengers land just before 2pm on Saturday, approximately 45 minutes behind schedule, following their departure from South Africa.

St Helena Airport, built with £285 million of funding from the Department for International Development (DFID), was due to open last year but the launch of commercial flights was delayed because of dangerous wind conditions.

Further trials were carried out in August and the airport was given the go-ahead to begin operations by South African aviation authorities.

Airlink’s Embraer E190-100IGW aircraft was due to land at 1.15pm local time (2.15pm BST) on Saturday but ended up touching down at 1.58pm (2.58pm BST).

Our Comment: We’d just like to point out that, yes - the plane was 45 minutes late, but that was due to a delay in Namibia. Nothing to do with our ‘much-maligned’ Airport!

Article: New Air Link and Luxury Hotel Will Transform Tourism on Tiny, Remote St Helena, 7th October 2017{2}

While it will still be pretty hard to get to (unless you live in Namibia or South Africa), St Helena is likely to see a significant increase in the number of tourists, especially from those keen to go to a place that not many other people have visited.

Jacob’s Ladder Saint Helena Island Info Fly here

One of the remotest islands in the world is about to enter the modern tourist age.

When the British exiled Napoleon to St Helena in 1815, it took the conquered emperor a full 10 weeks to reach the island. Two centuries later, it’s still a five-day trip by mail boat - assuming you happen to be starting from somewhere as close as Cape Town, South Africa.

But on Oct. 14, the tiny British overseas territory will get its first-ever scheduled flights. Two weeks later, St Helena’s first luxury hotel, a 30-room property in a trio of Georgian buildings, will open its doors.

Located about 1,200 miles off the western coast of Africa, St Helena is best known (for those who know it at all) as the place where Napoleon was banished after being defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. The house where he lived - complete with the original furnishings - is one of the island’s main tourist attractions.

But it’s not the only draw. The 47-square-mile tropical island offers mountain biking, sportfishing, and scuba diving in waters where visibility is up to 100 feet. St Helena is one of a handful of places in the world where humans can swim with massive (and passive) whale sharks. It’s home to a 185-year-old tortoise named Jonathan, the world’s longest straight staircase, and a double-hole golf course that players go around twice, trying not to hit any goats along the way.

Then there’s St Helena distillery, said to be the world’s most remote. Its specialty is Tungi (TOON-jee), a white spirit made from prickly pear and bottled in a beveled glass flask shaped to evoke the island’s famous (-ish) staircase.

Because of the limited transportation options, only a couple of thousand tourists make it to the island each year. The Royal Mail Ship St Helena, a combination cargo-passenger ship, makes the trip just a few times a month. And until now, the airport was able to accept only private flights.

The world’s most useless airport, as some have called it, cost 285 million British pounds [more than $400 million] and was meant to push St Helena toward economic self-sufficiency. A month before it opened in 2016, test flights revealed dangerous wind conditions, and commercial flights were put on hold. The airport has been taking only private and medical evacuation flights.

But now, South African airline Airlink will run weekly from Johannesburg to Windhoek, Namibia, and on to St Helena.

The Independent reported that Airlink won’t fill its Embraer jets to capacity. To keep the plane light enough to use less of the runway and avoid the spots with most dangerous winds, it will fill only 76 of the 99 seats. It’s hoping to bump that up to 87 in 2018.

Meanwhile, the new hotel by resort developer Mantis, which owns five-star safari lodges in Africa, Explora resorts in Chile, and other high-end properties, promises to be a game-changer. St Helena’s official tourism website lists just two B&Bs and a half-dozen hotels and guest houses, most of which have no websites.

As relatively speedy as the flights may be, this might actually be the perfect time to reserve a berth to St Helena. Not only is the island on its way to changes, but the mail ship will eventually be decommissioned. Book now, or permanently miss the boat.

Our Comment: This is a strange, un-focussed article - it announces the flights and then recommends coming by ship. It also has some noteable errors: there already is a luxury hotel on the island (Farm Lodge); and goats are not loose on the golf course (though they may be tethered nearby). But on the Any publicity is good publicity theory…

The on 9th October 2017 reported broadly the same article, but omitting the advice to come by ship.

Estimated international arrivals

The following chart was incorporated into an article ‘Airport Opens Up Opportunities On St Helena’ published on Money Web on 7th November 2013. The article appeared on our Read articles about St Helena (Older) page, but has now been archived to our Much Older St Helena Stuff{3} blog. However we thought the data presented in the chart might still be useful.

Estimated international arrivals Saint Helena Island Info Fly here

Naturally these predictions were based on the original airport plan for one 737-800 flight (approx. 230 passengers) per week.

Laugh at funny Fly here humour LOL Saint Helena Island Info

{a} Neil Fantom{b} Andy Simpson,{c} St Helena Airport{d} Firle Davies @thewhirlinzim{e} Governor Lisa Phillips{f} St Helena Travel on Facebook™{g} Nick Stevens{h} Tourist Office{i} Roger McGough{j} Mantis St Helena

{1} The guns are Royal Navy 32 pounders, manufactured in the 1780s, and were recovered from Banks Battery and restored. More island cannons here.{2} Reproduced for educational non-commercial use only; all copyrights are acknowledged.{3} See more blogs.

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