St Helena Headline NEWS- 3 August 2017

Light rain showers this afternoon over parts of St Helena, Temps at 13.30 range from 17 to 23 degrees on island

Atlantic Star update re future flights

From Atlantic Star:

Dear Friends

A number of individuals and organisations have been in touch with us over the last week regarding future plans for Atlantic Star, now that preliminary details of the SAA Airlink service to Johannesburg have been announced.

The Atlantic Star position is that until such time that pricing for St.Helena flights and the timetable to make secure onward connections to the UK are published we cannot commit to any future flights. Atlantic Star remains committed to the concept of delivering flights to connect St.Helena to the UK and will explore ways of providing these when the time is right. Development of the tourism infrastructure on St.Helena and a clearer understanding of operational challenges at St.Helena Airport will both play a part in determining the best way forward regarding future air services.

In the meantime, we are working with partner Cello Aviation to offer a regular UK originating air service to support the community on Ascension Island, which has become isolated as a consequence of the runway at Ascension no longer being suitable for use by the RAF Voyager aircraft. Discussions with Ascension Island stakeholders about a potential solution are ongoing and remain confidential at this time.

Many thanks to those who have contacted us regarding the current situation – we will say more when we have something more tangible to share.

Best Regards
Richard, Andrew and Aiden
Directors, Atlantic Star Airlines

Concerns raised by Saints on social media re using Johannesburg as the main hub for St Helena flights (even though persons can use Cape Town as an alternative and link up with Windhoek)

There appears to be a growing concern among Saints re the recent announcement by Airlink whereby Johannesburg was chosen as the airport hub for St Helena flights. (rather than Cape Town)

Thread from St Helena News and Travel Facebook page: –

Pietro de Marchi
Pietro de Marchi… ” the main issues facing security at the airport being corruption and collusion.”
Sandy Bohm
Sandy BohmAbsolutely disgusting!!!!!!
Etna Hughes Mckinley
Etna Hughes MckinleyIt has had a terrible reputation which has only got worse over time. SHG, presumably were aware of this when agreeing the contract.
May Howatson
May HowatsonI have to say that report do not inspire confidence for travellers…
John Turner
John TurnerThis was featured on this morning’s S.A.M.S. Radio 1 news. It presents a real problem for Saints travelling because the environment is so alien to that of St Helena.
David Harding
David HardingAnyone fancy an overnight stay in Jo ‘burg??
Jim George
Jim GeorgeI do it all the time for work and I enjoy it. Just take the excellent Gautrain directly from the Airport to Sandton and stay in a guest house overnight
John Turner
John TurnerI think the issue is that, because you use it often, your “danger radar” is well tuned. If someone comes up to you and starts trying to strike up a conversation you are immediately wary. You stay in well-populated places. You keep your baggage within
David Harding
David HardingAnd tourists
Joanna Crowie
Joanna CrowieYou know your way around Jim and I’m sure wouldn’t look displaced. Those newly facing the scenario would stand out a mile…..
Joanna Crowie
Joanna CrowieAnswer on a postcard, Jim 😂
Marjorie Harding
Marjorie HardingWhy on earth are we using it for St Helena and we are expected to stay overnight!!!!!!!!!!!
Diana TaylorI’m looking at flights London Windhoek and most fly via JHB, I’d rather not even set foot in SA if I’m being totally honest… Windhoek looks infinitely more pleasant to spend an enforced delay stopover in…John Turner
John TurnerHow many of the seats will SA Airlink sell to passengers only flying between St Helena and Windhoek? Their preference, surely, will be for passengers flying all the way. So it’s all very well saying “join/stop at Windhoek”, but only if SA Airlink allocates enough seats for the shorter trip.Pietro de Marchi
Pietro de MarchiJohn, not sure at this point if SA AirLink will have a contract with the Namibian authorities allowing them to pick up passengers for the WDH-HLE-WDH leg. Maybe we will learn soon …
Diana Taylor
Diana TaylorThey are selling the service as a link point with Capetown flights so the SH WHK leg should have availability, I’m sure the UK airlines will be looking at making LDN SH as affordable as possible, especially as MOD will be shuttling their ASC staff via SH while ASC has it’s runway work…
Pietro de Marchi
Pietro de MarchiPassengers arriving in WDH on one of the designated SA AirLink flights from JNB or CPT will of course be able to immediately continue to HLE and v/v. If passengers arriving in WDH on another airline (e.g. from Europe) will be able to continue to HLE is not yet clear at this point.
Joanna Crowie
Joanna CrowieThe whole affair is complex….If no provision is made for picking up anyone travelling directly to WDH, the chances are they might have to kip in a hotel for days with uncertainty as to when they’ll actually get on a HLE bound flight!? Somewhere else someone mentioned that there will be no tickets to HLE from WDH.?? Lots of homework required.
Joanna Crowie
Joanna CrowieBad enough travelling through/to Jo’Burg, then being forced to stop the night, when there are two people(man/wife/friend)….what about lone travellers, people with 2/3 children in tow, older people?? I think a careless, insensitive decision was taken – people and their safety first!!!
Etna Hughes Mckinley
Etna Hughes MckinleyA sensible decision would have been Flights from UK as there are far many Saints here than anywhere else As we can unfortunately see neither sense nor sensibility were used and the safety of Saints came even further down the list.
Joanna Crowie
Joanna CrowieExactly….and it smacks more and more of ‘brainwashing’ and making a pigs ear!
David Harding
David HardingIt would be interesting to have been listening to the discussions leading to Jo’burg being chosen as the base for flights to St Helena. With development of tourism a long term prospect, (if ever) the main source of people travelling to the Island is from the Uk. Why, oh why, no direct flights???Joanna Crowie
Joanna CrowieAnd, why oh why was final decision taken when there was no sitting council? Previous disbanded, new not elected!?…..this is something that affects every Saint, everywhere…, and in the years to come…..some might not realise that now, but they will do….’in years to come’!….when non-islanders and officials will have forgotten that they took such a decision – or will conveniently have forgotten!
Diana Taylor
Diana TaylorI think, that one Wideawke is back in service, there’ll be regular, at least one a week, flights stopping at SH en route for the Falklands…
Joanna Crowie
Joanna CrowiePlease be reminded, that no-one would be posting anything that no-one wants to hear, if all were considered understandable and satisfactory….forgetting the cheap anecdote ‘you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people aSee More
Dorothy M Edson
Dorothy M EdsonWe all need to petition our Saint Council and demand a review it should be a priority on their yet to fill agenda. just voiceing our disatisfaction isnt going to do anything lets do this.Is it possible for Jim to set up a petition that people can sign on this forum.

Dorothy M EdsonDorothy M EdsonI would however like to see a show of hands vote and get the peoples choice on record.

Lee Oldershaw
Lee OldershawMany of us with aviation, travel and hospitality experience have been awaiting the air service plan. I don’t think any of us thought about what is proposed which I believe, along with others, is an excellent plan. It’s not going to change nor should it and it’s time for St. Helenan’s to do their part and get the island in the best shape possible in the next three months.
Joanna Crowie
Joanna CrowieSt Helena’s Guardian Angel paid by Donald Trump?…..You may well have experience in the things you mention Mr Oldershaw, but you have no experience being a Saint, living on St Helena and having had to endure a lifetime of being dictated to without basSee More
Sandy Bohm
Sandy BohmBribes,corruption!!!they must do something real fast.they caught the gang that follows you from airport!

Last week it was reported that South Africa’s travel sector had welcomed announcements that enhanced security measures will be implemented at OR Tambo International Airport, saying it was at least a step in the right direction.

The largest airport hub in South Africa, handling over 20 million passengers, has been plagued with incidences of rampant crime recently, leading industry stakeholders to question why not enough is being done to safeguard the safety of international and domestic travellers.
This week, the United States Consul General in Johannesburg issued a security warning to US citizens about OR Tambo International Airport, urging them to exercise caution when arranging ground transportation from the airport.
The statement indicates that numerous US citizens and other travellers have been robbed at gun point while travelling from OR Tambo International Airport to their place of lodging in what are known as “follow home” robberies.
“US citizens should avoid night-time arrival flights to OR Tambo International Airport. No form of transportation from the airport is considered completely secure and risk-free. Travellers should exercise caution at all times when departing the airport. Travellers should also avoid changing money or utilising ATMs at the airport, and avoid displaying expensive jewellery, watches, or luggage while travelling,” the statement said.
The warning comes as SA Police Minister Fikilie Mbalula announced measures to improve security at the airport. Addressing media and stakeholders, Minister Mbalula admitted there had been a lapse in security at the airport, leading to brazen multi-million rand heists, goods being smuggled into the country and criminals following travellers home.The minister also attributed the main issues facing security at the airport being corruption and collusion.

The St Helena Air Service will operate from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB). There will be a stopover at Windhoek International Airport in Namibia (WDH) before the flight continues to St Helena Airport (HLE).

On the return route, the flight will stopover at Windhoek before returning to Johannesburg.

In summary, the route is as follows:


The stopovers at Windhoek have been carefully scheduled so that on both the onward and outbound journeys to/from St Helena, the flight will coincide with the SA Airlink flight between Cape Town International Airport and Windhoek.

Customers will be able to book flights between Cape Town and St Helena and vice versa on a single ticket contract with a short connection at Windhoek. Thus the routing will be:

CPT – WDH (connect) – HLE – WDH – (connect) – CPT


The RMS St Helena departed the Island slightly later than originally scheduled at 6.05pm on Tuesday 1 August 2017, with 54 passengers and 56 crew onboard.

Her estimated arrival time at Ascension Island is now at 7am on Friday, 4 August 2017, and not on Thursday, 3 August, as per the original schedule.

This slight delay in the RMS schedule is due to current swell conditions at St Helena which impacted on cargo operations.

All 63 containers for St Helena, along with 18.2 tonnes of perishable cargo including potatoes, onion and pumpkins, were discharged from the RMS this call and nine containers were back-loaded for Ascension Island.  Approximately, 361.1 tonnes of break bulk cargo has been over carried to Ascension Island. The majority of this break bulk cargo for St Helena is cement.

The vessel is estimated to depart Ascension Island at 2pm on Friday afternoon and is expected to arrive at St Helena at midday on Sunday, 6 August, instead of the original scheduled time of 7am.


Two new staff members – Alwyn Thomas and Kerrie Johnson (photo attached) – arrived on St Helena on Sunday, 30 July 2017, to undertake their roles as Trainee Solicitors within the Attorney General’s Chambers. Alwyn and Kerrie are on-Island for two years and are based at the Castle, in Jamestown.

During their time in Chambers, Alwyn and Kerrie will spend time within three separate departments – Community Law, Criminal Law and Civil & Constitutional Law.  This is a requirement of their traineeship as they need to be exposed to at least three separate areas of law in their two-year contract, in order to seek admission to the roll of solicitors of the Law Society of England and Wales.

Alwyn and Kerrie will become solicitors at the end of their two-year contract once they have completed their Professional Skills Course and their training period at Chambers.

Alwyn, who is from St Helena, has studied law part-time since August 2011 and completed the Legal Practice Course in July 2016. He has worked full time at West Berkshire District Council for 14 years.

Alwyn gained a Law Degree and also undertook the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. He has a Degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Hertfordshire and a Masters in Management from the University of Durham.

Alwyn said:

“I am hoping to learn as much as I can to qualify as a solicitor as well as getting involved in the community as a volunteer in local projects, such as conservation.

“Hopefully my employment with the Attorney General’s Chambers will inspire other St Helenians on the Island.”

 In Kerrie’s previous employment at Leicestershire County Council, she worked in roles in Children’s & Adult’s Social Services. She has a Degree in International Law from the University of Hull. She completed the Legal Practice Course at De Montfort University in Leicester. Kerrie is currently studying the Professional Skills Course at the University of Law.

Kerrie said:

“I have wanted to work in this field of law since I was very small. My mother was having legal training before she started a family, so I have been inspired by her example.

 “I have studied law since 2009 on a full and part-time basis, combining this with legal work experience, and I’m looking to learn as much as I can whilst on the Island.”

 Attorney General Angelo Berbotto concluded:

“We are so pleased to finally welcome Alwyn and Kerrie to St Helena. They were selected after we sifted through around 30 applications – they were the best candidates for the post. Right after the induction they were both allocated their mentors and are already dealing with matters.

 “I have worked hard to obtain trainer status with the Law Society as I considered that having trainee solicitors at Chambers would be a win-win situation. We get their enthusiasm, their legal knowledge and research skills and they get their path to qualification.

 “Although the senior lawyers in Chambers will supervise the trainee’s work and mentor them, the trainees are already proving to be valuable members of the team. I encourage all young people who are interested in a career in the law to approach the trainees with any questions.”

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