On 14 October 2017, Airlink began a weekly service between Johannesburg, South Africa, and Saint Helena Airport using an Embraer E190-100IGW, the first scheduled airline service in Saint Helena’s history. With 78 passengers aboard, the airliner arrived at Saint Helena Airport after a flight of about six hours from Johannesburg with a refuel stop at Windhoek.
In April 2020, UK charter airline Titan Airways became the first operator to land an Airbus airliner on St Helena, following the arrival of an A318. The narrowbody (G-EUNB) was chartered by the UK government to carry medical staff and 2.5t of “essential medical supplies” for the residents of its overseas territory.
The airport is situated such that at times serious wind shear makes it difficult to land from the north. It is safe to land from the other direction, but it is plagued by tailwinds, which increase landing ground speed, and thus imposes a weight restriction, which translates to fewer passengers. Nevertheless, only a few flights were delayed to next day during the first half-year. This happened a little more often during the second half-year during the local winter. Fog is a bigger problem than wind shear.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown in South Africa, the commercial air service between South Africa and St Helena was suspended from 21 March 2020. Private and charter jets shall be accepted only with permission from the Governor. All arriving air passengers are required to quarantine in Bradley’s Camp near the airport to reduce the risk of COVID-19 reaching the Island and spreading amongst the population.
There were a limited number of flights as of early March 2021, because of the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic. At that time, only a few types of non-Saint visitors were allowed to arrive on the island.
A minibus offers a basic service to carry people around Saint Helena, with most services designed to take people into Jamestown for a few hours on weekdays to conduct their business. Car hire is available for visitors. There are also a number of taxi companies available including V2 Taxis and Crowie’s Taxis.
Flag of Saint Helena:
The flag of Saint Helena was adopted on October 4, 1984. It is a defaced (i.e. differentiated) Blue Ensign, i.e., a blue field with the Union Jack in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the shield from the coat of arms of Saint Helena centered on the outer half of the flag. The shield features a rocky coastline and three-masted sailing ship, with a Saint Helena plover, also known as a wirebird, atop. Prior to the adoption of the current coat of arms and flag in 1984, the flag and shield showed the ship and coastal scene taken from the colonial seal of the colony.