Thank you to those of you who have been in touch regarding progress with our UK to St.Helena charter flights for 2016. We have been quietly working through the necessary permissions that are required by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, UK Department of Transport, and St.Helena Government, and we are now in a position to share a little more of where we are in the process.
We have now established precisely what will be required by each organisation and have agreed a means of providing the necessary documentation for each of them. This has taken a little longer than we would have liked but naturally the regulation of a new airport in such a remote location means that each step forward is taken with a good deal of caution. Nonetheless we are confident that all of the necessary permissions relating to our charter programme will be in place within a few weeks from now.
This will allow us to release flight dates and times with certainty, but we have been advised that we will not be able to commence ticket sales until the St.Helena airport certification process is complete.
As many of you will know there has already been some delays to the airport certification process associated with the need to move some of the ground based navigation equipment necessary for pilots to make safe approaches at St.Helena. We are in contact with the Air Access Team at St.Helena Government and are confident that all the hurdles to certification will be overcome.
Based on the complexity of the certification process and the work still to be done on the airport it would be premature to give a precise date for certification and therefore we are not yet able to announce the date that ticket sales will start.
We fully appreciate how frustrating this waiting period is for those of you who wish to finalise 2016 travel plans. We share that frustration and naturally we would love to be on sale right now. We are certain that certification will be successful and equally certain that our flights will take place as planned.
We have a provisional programme in place with TUIfly to provide two flights in late May and early June, a further pair in October and a final pair around Christmas. We will provide precise dates once our approval to operate from St.Helena Government is in place.
We will provide more information by email and on our website and social media channels as soon as the flight permissions are in place. In the meantime thank you all for your continued patience and support.