Airport Dubbed the 'World's Most Useless' Just Got Its First Commercial Flight
At long last, a windy little airport on a tiny island in the South Atlantic might actually see some tourists.
The site also plagued with construction delays, the Independent reported, and ever since its opening in May 2016, the airport has struggled to schedule commercial flights.
“It is staggering that the Department commissioned and completed the St Helena airport before ascertaining the effect of prevailing wind conditions on landing commercial aircraft safely at St Helena,” a U.K. House of Commons committee wrote in a report on the airport.
It wasn’t until May of this year that the airport finally had a breakthrough when a passenger test flight successfully landed.
Saint Helena Airport announced that it will now have an official scheduled passenger flight: South African carrier Airlink will fly from Johannesburg via Windhoek in Namibia to St. Helena each Saturday.
No start date or estimated airfares for the flight have been announced.
But the airport isn't getting off the ground without any help: The U.K. government will subsidize the first year of operation, to the tune of about £1.9 million (or $2.4 million USD), according to the Independent.
The flight time from Johannesburg to Saint Helena will be six hours, a big improvement on the previous option: a two-week round-trip voyage by ship. However, the flight schedule requires planes to leave Johannesburg minutes before the first handful of daily arrivals from Heathrow, and the return flight is too late for any connections back to London.
That doesn’t sound too convenient for tourists, but Saint Helena does offer an intriguing destination. Napoleon was imprisoned on the island after the Battle of Waterloo, and an incredibly remote and difficult-to-reach island can't be beat for pristine wilderness.