4 JULY 2016
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The airline set up to provide air services between the UK and St Helena has cancelled its October start date.
Atlantic Star said it regretted the decision but did so against the background of uncertainty about flight operations on to runway 20 at the island’s new airport.
“Runway 20 faces into the prevailing tradewinds and is therefore the best suited to supporting flights operating with a commercially-viable payload,” the carrier said in a statement.
“However, until more comprehensive and accurate data has been gathered regarding the wind effects and potential for windshear when landing on this runway, it is sensible to take the conservative course of action and postpone flights.”
The statement said the company and flight operator were continuing to work with the St Helena government and the UK Department for International Development “to establish a robust safety case for operations on to runway 20”.
They were also investigating an interim solution allowing commercial air access using runway 02, although tailwind on this runway would mean a reduction in the number of passengers, impacting on the economic viability of flights.
However, the statement added: “Atlantic Star Airlines remains committed to the long-term future of flights to St Helena and the provision of a direct link to the UK.”
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