Today an important flight took place between the African mainland and St. Helena. Using an E-190, Airlink undertook a “proving flight” from Windhoek in Namibia to the island.
The over water portion of the flight took nearly four hours. The airline would not confirm the number of people on this flight. The return flight will occur tomorrow and get back late in the evening to Johannesburg.
The flight distance is well within the E-190’s capabilities. The flight was 2,532 KM compared to the capable range of ~4,500KM. Even though the E-190 should be able to handle the flight from Johannesburg nonstop (2,290NM), JNB is hot and high and margins might be too small. The technical stop at WDH for fuel is a cautious move.
The island’s residents must be pleased to see their expensive airport being put to use. Once flights start on a regular schedule, tourism to the island should flourish. It is surely one of the last unspoiled places with unique flora and fauna.
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.