ST HELENA AIR SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED BY COMAIR
SHG and DFID today formally announced the appointment of Comair Limited as the provider of air services to St Helena. This marks another important step in the evolution of St Helena Island as a new tourism destination. With the Island’s first ever airport opening in 2016, the involvement of a company with the status of Comair demonstrates that St Helena can attract the best international partners.
Comair, operating as British Airways under its licence agreement with British Airways plc, will operate a scheduled service between Johannesburg (OR Tambo International Airport) and St Helena Airport.
The weekly Saturday service will be operated using a brand new, state of the art Boeing 737-800 type aircraft (pictured) in a two class configuration (Business Class and Economy Class) with the flight time from Johannesburg to St Helena being approximately five hours.
Comair, through its extensive partnerships with international network carriers operating direct services to Johannesburg, will provide onward connections via Johannesburg to and from St Helena and, in addition, Comair’s extensive domestic and southern African network will be available to passengers. Customers will further enjoy the benefits of purchasing a single ticket with the convenience of one stop check-in and baggage transfer.
The agreement with Comair is for an initial term of three years from the date of the first flight, with the potential for up to two extensions of two years each – a maximum term of seven years.
Alonso Winner of the mountain bike competition
The event finished with a prize giving and a general message of gratitude to all that contributed and supported St Helena’s first mountain bike competition.
Nigel Kirby, DFID St Helena Airport Project Manager, commented:
“DFID welcomes the appointment of Comair to operate services between St Helena and Johannesburg. Comair’s appointment brings the reality of air access to St Helena much closer, and these flights will provide Saints with a gateway to the world, with onward connections to London, Paris, Frankfurt, New York, Sydney and many others destinations.
“The spirit of collaboration and cooperation that persisted throughout the negotiations bodes well for the future relationship between Comair and St Helena, working together to deliver a better future for the Island.
“On a personal note, after more than a decade working on this project, I look forward to flying into St Helena.”
CEO of Comair, Erik Venter, added:
“We are delighted that Comair has been selected as St Helena’s airline of choice and look forward to providing customers with a quality service to and from the Island.
“We are also excited about the opportunity to work in partnership with the St Helena Government and Enterprise St Helena to promote the Island as a chosen destination, with the ultimate objective of boosting the local tourism industry and the overall economy of St Helena.”
Bookings will open for sale later this year subject to the conclusion of the required Government and regulatory approvals and obtaining the specific consents and licences associated with the terms of Air Service Agreement between St Helena Government and Comair.
DFID and SHG were advised on the tender process by Avia Solutions.
Comair Limited is a South African aviation and travel company, offering scheduled and non-scheduled airline services within South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, as its main business. The company operates under its low-fare airline brand, kulula.com, as well as under British Airways livery, as part of its license agreement with British Airways plc.
Managed and owned by South Africans through its listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Comair has been operating successfully in South Africa since 1946. Comair is thought to be the only airline to have achieved operating profits for 68 consecutive years, and has a safety record which is internationally recognised.
Avia Solutions a GE Capital Aviations Services company, advised SHG and DFID on the air services procurement process. It provides specialised advisory services to a wide range of airports, airlines, governments and financial investors, including airport route development, airline strategy, network planning, and air traffic forecasting.