Below are answers to some of your frequently asked questions. If we haven't covered a question that you would like to ask, please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with an answer.
When will you be announcing flight dates?
We are planning to operate a pair of services. The first will leave London Luton on 22nd May 2016, arriving Saint Helena 23rd May, departing the same day to arrive back in London Luton that night. The second will leave London Luton on 5th June, arrive Saint Helena 6th June, depart the same day and arrive back in London Luton that night.
These dates aren’t ideal for me, when else will I be able to fly with Atlantic Star?
The May/June 2016 dates published are the only planned services at present. We are actively considering other dates in the future, but these will not be during the St Helena winter (UK summer). Operation of future services will depend on anticipated demand. The only way to be sure of being able to fly direct to the UK is to travel on the inaugural flight in May.
I’ve heard that once Atlantic Star starts flying there will be frequent direct services between the UK and St Helena, how frequent?
The operation of future services will be entirely dependent upon the success of the May/June 2016 flights, and subject to proven demand.
Why can’t I buy tickets yet on these services?
We are unable to sell tickets until Saint Helena Airport receives certification from the regulatory authorities. This is expected to be in mid-April 2016.
Which UK airport will you be using, and why?
Flights will depart from London Luton Airport. Our initial preference had been to serve London Gatwick, but we were unable to obtain any of the very limited number of night time take-off and landing slots. The schedule for these flights is governed by the need to arrive and depart Saint Helena during daylight hours. We chose London Luton airport as an alternative owing to its excellent transport links to the South East, Midlands and North of the UK. The airport is a key hub for TUIfly, and because of its smaller size it offers a quicker and easier check-in experience for our passengers. The airport also has an excellent range of retail outlets and restaurants.
How long is the total journey time?
The aircraft will stop at Banjul, Gambia in both directions, for refuelling only. Passengers will not be able to leave the aeroplane in Banjul. Including the fuel stop, total journey time will be around 12hrs.
Which airline will actually be flying the services?
Services will be operated by TUIfly (Netherlands). TUIfly is Europe’s biggest travel company and has an unrivalled reputation for safety, reliability and service. More details about TUIfly, and their product, is available under Our Partners on this website.
How much will tickets cost?
Ticket prices will vary according to the amount of baggage you wish to carry with you. All passengers can take up to 5kg of hand baggage, the weight allowance in each ticket refers to hold-checked baggage.
A basic fare in Economy Class of £1299 (return) will allow you 15kg of hold luggage, £1369 allows 23kg, £1439 allows 30kg. EconomyPlus tickets start at £1799 including 23kg of hold baggage, or £1869 for 30kg hold baggage.
Child fares, in Economy Class only, are £799, with 15kg hold baggage allowance. Increased hold baggage options for child fares will not be available.
The above fares include all taxes and airport charges. A table of fares is available on our Fares page.
Why are the baggage allowances lower than normal?
Industry experience tells us that many passengers don't use the full 23kg of their allowance. Furthermore St.Helena is a remote destination with a short runway that restricts aircraft takeoff and landing performance - the weight of the aircraft is critical to getting this performance right with an adequate safety margin. For these reasons we have chosen to offer the option of a reduced baggage allowance in Economy of 15kg, it will be possible to purchase higher baggage allowances of either 23kg or 30kg when booking tickets.
Will I be able to upgrade my baggage allowance at a later date, or pay for more at the airport?
Flights serving St. Helena will be weight restricted, meaning that late changes to baggage requirements will most likely not be possible. The way to guarantee you can take the baggage you need is to pre-book the required amount.
What on-board service will I get, and what’s the difference between Economy and EconomyPlus classes?
All passengers will receive free food on each sector, a main meal between UK and Banjul, a snack between Banjul and Saint Helena, as well as complimentary soft and alcoholic drinks. A film will be shown on the Inflight Entertainment System.
EconomyPlus class passengers will benefit from increased legroom, 4 abreast seating instead of 6 abreast meaning more elbow room too. Complimentary sparkling wines are included in the cabin service. Baggage allowance of 23kg as standard. Access to an Executive Lounge and use of Security FastTrack at London Luton airport. More details about TUIfly can be found in the Our Partners page on this website.
Where will I be able to buy tickets when they come on sale?
Tickets will be sold by our ticketing partner TravelPack Marketing and Leisure Ltd, ATOL 2866, either on-line, by telephone or at their travel agency in Wembley, London. TravelPack is a long-established and reputable travel agency that benefits from full ATOL accreditation. Saints wishing to purchase tickets in Saint Helena may do so at Solomons Shipping and Travel Agency at the Malabar, Jamestown. (There will be a small supplement for this.)
Can I fly just one way, on a single ticket?
No, only return tickets will be sold on the inaugural services. It is possible that a small number of one-way tickets might become available nearer to departure but this cannot be guaranteed. Anyone requiring a single passage only should contact us directly using our Contact Us page.
Why do I have to stay for only two weeks, I want to be there longer?
We recognise that some travellers will want a longer or shorter stay, two weeks was chosen as a happy medium balancing these different demands. In future, subject to the success of our initial flights, the frequency of services may increase. We may then be able to offer varying lengths of stay. We are considering operating a Christmas 2016 service with a 3 week interval.
If I book a ticket but then change my mind, will I get my money back?
No, all tickets are non-refundable.
As a startup airline how can you guarantee to operate? Is my money safe?
Our 2016 services are privately funded without debt attached and have been approved by the UK CAA and Saint Helena Government. We have contracts in UK law with TUIfly to operate, and with TravelPack to provide ticketing services and the necessary ATOL protection to give customers assurance that their money is safe when spent on an Atlantic Star charter flight.
What about services to Ascension Island?
Comair have committed to operate a monthly service between St.Helena and Ascension Island. Whilst this service is in place it would make no sense to add extra flights to compete with this service.
What about air cargo?
We are looking at offering small amounts of cargo capacity both into and out of St.Helena, depending on passenger numbers.
Can I take pets?
No, unfortunately London Luton airport does not have the facilities to handle pets inbound.
Can you provide medevacs?
TUIfly has the capability to provide a medevac service, but the emergency nature of such requirements may preclude their provision at short notice.