Direct flights restore historic link between Cape Town and St Helena

16 May 2019 - 11:45 By SUMIN WOO
Tourists will find it easier to see this view of Jamestown, St Helena, when a direct flight from Cape Town launches in December.
Tourists will find it easier to see this view of Jamestown, St Helena, when a direct flight from Cape Town launches in December.
Image: AFP

Cape Town will again connect the world with St Helena, one of the world's most remote islands, when a direct flight begins in December.

"This new route is very exciting, providing fresh opportunities to market tourism to both the Western Cape and St Helena, capitalising on the historic links between the two," MEC of economic opportunities Beverley Schäfer said on Thursday.

The RMS St Helena, a cargo and passenger liner which originated in Cape Town, was the key lifeline for St Helena for 28 years until its retirement in 2018.

Airlink began operating the island's first plane route in 2017, a six-hour flight from Johannesburg to St Helena Airport, which was built by SA construction company Basil Read.  

The new Tuesday flights will operate between December 3 and March 31 2020.

News of the new route follows US-based United Airlines' announcement that it would start direct flights between Cape Town and Newark, New Jersey, in the US.

Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro, which promotes investment, trade and tourism in Cape Town and the Western Cape, said: "By connecting Cape Town to other tourist attractions around the world, we are able to help visitors put together itineraries with Cape Town at the centre. 

"This strengthens our tourism offer considerably."

St Helena, where Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile in 1821, gives tourists a chance to see his residence, volcanic coastlines and whale sharks.


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