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St Helena: Titan Airways prepares for first B757 flight St Helena: Titan Airways prepares for first B757 flight

A very special aircraft is gearing up to land at the infamous Saint Helena Airport. Titan Airways will be flying a Boeing 757 to the airport this week. This will be the airport’s first Boeing 757 arrival and the largest passenger jet to ever land at the airport. The plane will operate a repatriation flight.

Saint Helena Airport released information about the flight in a Facebook post. Last week, the airport held a planning meeting with Titan Airways to discuss the arrival. There is a lot that has to go into the aircraft’s arrival because the airport is an extraordinary place– alongside the obvious health crisis that is prompting the repatriation.

The plane itself will make a stop in Ascension Island (ASI) on the way to St. Helena. Specifically, the aircraft will land at the Royal Air Force (RAF) base and stay overnight before heading to HLE.

Back in April, Titan Airways flew its all-business class Airbus A318 to Saint Helena on a relief flight. The A318 is much smaller than the 757, but it still made for an exciting flight. That plane took off on a direct itinerary from London Stansted Airport (STN) to HLE with a stop in Accra, Ghana. That flight was not a repatriation one. Rather, the plane was carrying medical staff, close to 1000 medical testing kits, ventilators, and other medical supplies. Interestingly enough, that plane was leased from British Airways and used to fly between London City and New York-JFK.

here are a lot of very special airports around the world, and Saint Helena is one. It did not start to receive its first commercial services until 2017, when Airlink used its Embraer jets to fly to the island.

HLE has a wind shear problem, which limits the opportunity for regular commercial flights on larger aircraft. As this crisis has shown, air links can be incredibly crucial for the movement of vital cargo. The runway, however, is quite short and, coupled with the wind shear issue, poses a problem for nonstop commercial flights out to London– or Europe in general.

This flight has the potential to get enough attraction for an airline to consider flights to Saint Helena. With only one carrier flying into the airport, along with some charter flights, any kind of further groundings or financial issues could end the island’s commercial connection to the outside world.

Any airline watching this flight could then pursue options to fly to Saint Helena, once the crisis is over. But, any airline would likely seek attractive subsidies to make the flight work. Plus, there would be some logistical issues finding alternate points for a diversion in case wind shear does impact an airline’s arrival. Any commercial flight, however, beyond Airlink’s flight, is likely at least a year or more away.

Source: Simple Flying