Latest from St Helena News & Travel- 18 August 2017

Proving flight on Monday

SA Airlink still expected to carry out its test flight on Monday using an Embraer 190 aircraft. The aircraft will be carrying 35 passengers including the CEO of SA Airlink Rodger Gardner.

That mysterious SAAF flight to Cuba via St Helena 

That mystery C-130 that refuelled at St Helena Airport on 18 July was on a Top Secret mission to Cuba

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Defenceweb reports that South Africa’s Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party shadow defence and military veterans minister Kobus Marais and defenceWeb are both being kept in the dark by the Defence Ministry and the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

This follows a request from this publication (and others) for more information about an SA Air Force 28 Squadron C-130BZ aircraft photographed on the recently built and opened airport on St Helena Island last month. defenceWeb has been told its questions will not be answered because they are “now the subject of a Parliamentary question”.

Marais confirmed he had submitted a question regarding the flight to the office of defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

“I have, up to now, not had any feedback on my question,” he said today, adding the non-response approach adopted by the Directorate: Corporate Communications of the SANDF was “just not good enough”.

Marais maintains the shortage of airlift platforms in the SAAF means the allocation of one for a long distance tasking such as that to Cuba and back last month, places “a massive and unnecessary strain” on resource and equipment management in the airborne arm of the SANDF.

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