Remote British island of St Helena waits for its first airport to end isolation

If you want to experience the splendour of St Helena - the island where the great French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte spent his last days - you must have at least one month's free time and a lot of patience to wait for the only boat that sails to this place.

Last Updated: Aug 24, 2015, 16:16 PM IST
Remote British island of St Helena waits for its first airport to end isolation

London: If you want to experience the splendour of St Helena - the island where the great French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte spent his last days - you must have at least one month's free time and a lot of patience to wait for the only boat that sails to this place.

With no air connectivity, there is only one way to reach the tiny island situated in the middle of the South Atlantic – RMS St. Helena – the ship that sets out on a five and half day trip, every three weeks from Cape Town.

And hence, very few visitors (only 1500) manage to tour this island of 4500 inhabitants.

However, the remote island is set for a paradigm change as it awaits for its first ever airport that is due to open in 2016.

According to a CNN report, some airlines have already begun to make plans to end St Helena's isolation as Comair, a South African airline and British Airways franchisee, has already been selected to operate a weekly flight between the island and Johannesburg.

Also, Atlantic Star Airlines, a start-up founded by former British Airways pilots, is readying its project to link St. Helena to the UK by air, reports the CNN.

The weekly 4.5-hour passenger flights which are scheduled to start from Johannesburg in February 2016, is going to bring a sea change to the island with the number of tourists multiplying 20 times.

As per reports, some 30, 000 tourists will be visiting the island every year once flights to St Helena begin.

Officials believe, this will be a boon to the island's economy which has to count on Britain for most of its income.