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History Made as Large Passenger Jet Aircraft Lands at St Helena
History was made on Monday 18th April 2016 when the first large passenger jet aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 (ZS-ZWG), landed at the new St Helena Airport shortly after 12.00 noon. This is the actual Boeing aircraft which will serve the St Helena/Johannesburg route.
As planned, British Airways (operated by Comair) brought in this ‘Implementation Flight’ from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, complete with various Comair, Basil Read and other passengers – plus a consignment of aircraft spare parts which will remain on the Island.
In preparation for the commencement of scheduled air services, the objectives of the Implementation Flight include route assessment, airside operations, passenger and cargo handling, training and various aspects of safety at St Helena Airport. It is planned that the aircraft will make a few flights over the next two days, before the Implementation Flight departs St Helena on Wednesday afternoon (20 April 2016).
Martin Louw, Operations Director for Comair, said on arrival:
“The flight itself was a ‘non-event’ – beautiful over the sea with a fantastic view of the Island coming into land. As you will have seen we did a few practice approaches just to make sure we understood the approach – safety is always paramount.”