Flights To St Helena Island From South Africa – Ticket Prices & Travel Information

//Flights To St Helena Island From South Africa – Ticket Prices & Travel Information

Flights To St Helena Island From South Africa – Ticket Prices & Travel Information

Flights to St Helena Island from South Africa take place once a week, on Saturdays, flying from Johannesburg.

South African airline, SA Airlink, operates the service with the Brazilian made, Embraer E190 aircraft, capable of carrying 98 passengers.


Information in this post:

  • Ticket Prices
  • Flight Times of the Weekly Air Service
  • Flights to Ascension Island
  • Additional Flights: Dec 2018 – April 2019
  • Baggage Allowance
  • How to Purchase Tickets
  • Flight Passenger Numbers
  • St Helena Airport Wind Shear
  • Weather Delays & Flight Cancellations
  • Flying on the SA Airlink Embraer and Landing at St Helena
  • Tracking the Flight In Real Time


Flights To St Helena, Updated November 2018 | by Darrin Henry

Cost of Flights to St Helena

Prices for return flights to St Helena Island from South Africa were first announced on 30 August, 2017, as part of the St Helena Government (SHG) Executive Council’s report. Fares began at £804 (Johannesburg) for a return flight, or £846 (Cape Town), which included a refuelling stop in Windhoek, Namibia.

The scheduled air service launched on Saturday 14 October, 2017. The Cape Town option was suspended soon afterwards when Namibia denied SA Airlink the Fifth Freedom Rights needed for passengers to change aircraft in Windhoek.

OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg is therefore the only connecting hub for flights to St Helena.

Ticket prices in October 2017 ranged from £804 – £1,544 for a Johannesburg return. This breaks down further as:

Business Class     £1,544

Upper Economy  £1,244

Lower Economy   £  804

Note: all prices above quoted in British pounds sterling.


Flight Times

Departures/arrivals as announced – note all times are Universal Time Clock (UTC):

There is only one scheduled flight a week to St Helena from Johannesburg, on Saturdays.


Johannesburg (JNB) to Windhoek (WDH): 07:00-09:00

Windhoek (WDH) to St Helena (HLE):        09:30 – 13:15

Return leg:

St Helena (HLE) to Johannesburg (JNB):     14:30 – 20:55


Flights to Ascension Island from St Helena

On the second Saturday of each month the schedule changes slightly to accommodate a flight to Ascension Island, with the return leg taking place on the Sunday:

Note, all times are Universal Time Clock (UTC).


Saturday (second Saturday of the month only)

Johannesburg (JNB) to Windhoek (WDH): 07:00-09:00

Windhoek (WDH) to St Helena (HLE): 09:30 – 13:15

St Helena (HLE) to Ascension (ASI): 14:30 – 16:30

Return leg:


Ascension (ASI) to St Helena (HLE): 11:15 – 13:15

St Helena (HLE) to Johannesburg (JNB): 14:30 – 20:55


Additional Flights: Dec 2018 – April 2019

An additional 19 flights to St Helena have been scheduled between December 2018 and April 2019, a response to increased demand at this time. This means two flights a week during these months, although, this does not include the weeks beginning 24 December 2018 and 31 December 2018.

The additional flights will operate on a Tuesday.

The normal Saturday schedule remains unaffected.

Two Extra Ascension Island Flights

An additional flight has also been scheduled to Ascension Island in December 2018 and in January 2019.


Baggage Allowance

Economy class, 20kg checked (or hold baggage) plus 1 carry-on piece and slimline laptop bag, each up to 8kg.

Business class, 30kg checked plus 2 carry-on pieces and a slimline laptop bag, each up to 8kg.


Ticket Prices for Flights to St Helena

Ticket Prices for Flights to St Helena have been announced after SA Airlink completed a successful proving flight to the island on 21 August, 2017 (pictured) with an Embraer E190. This aircraft type will be used to fly to St Helena by SA Airlink. Photo by Nick Stevens

An SA Airlink Embraer E190 aircraft will be used for the St Helena air service.  The initial plans will see it flying from both Cape Town and Johannesburg, refuelling at Windhoek, Namibia. The return flight to Ascension Island will be flown once per month.


How to Purchase St Helena Flight Tickets

Booking from Rest of the World

Tickets are available online via the Airlink website and through normal IATA global distribution systems.

Booking on St Helena Island

For passengers living in St Helena, ticket bookings can be made via Solomon & Company (St Helena) Plc’s Shipping & Travel Agency at the Malabar in Jamestown.  Passengers/customers can visit the Shipping & Travel Agency in person or can contact or telephone +(290) 22523.

Booking on Ascension Island

Bookings can only be made with the Ascension Island Travel Agency. Contact them via email: or tel: +247 66500.


Flight Passenger Numbers

Flights initially limited maximum passenger numbers to 76, made up of 70 Economy and 6 Business Class seats.

Although the aircraft, the Embraer E190, has capacity for 98 passengers, the reduced numbers give pilots the option of a tailwind landing at St Helena if weather conditions are problematic.


St Helena Airport Wind Shear

The St Helena Airport wind shear made world headlines in April 2016 after the first commercial jet plane to fly there, a British Airways Boeing 737-800 operated by Comair, struggled to land on its maiden test flight.

The airport opening was delayed for a year and a half while experts tried to come up with a solution.

In December, 2016, Brazilian aviation company, Embraer, demonstrated the superior handling of their E190 aircraft in the airport’s strong wind conditions.

South African airline, SA Airlink then won the bid for a new air service contract, using their newly acquired Embraer E190s. As mentioned earlier, St Helena’s first scheduled air service then started on 14 October, 2017.


Weather Delays & Flight Cancellations

In the first full year of St Helena’s airport operations, SHG reported 14 of the 104 scheduled flights had experienced “delays due to unfavourable weather.” This refers to occasions when flights were postponed or delayed by a day or longer. Every postponement has involved the flight remaining in Johannesburg due to weather conditions in St Helena making a landing unsafe.

There were one, two, three, five and even a nine-day delay within the first year of operation.

Moving into the second year of operations, a six-day delay in November 2018, when the island was battered by high winds, shows that disruptions are not restricted to the wet, winter months.

The delays thus far have resulted in plenty of frustration and disruption for stranded passengers, affecting both business and holidays.

Don’t Get Caught Out – Do Your Research

The delays have been a major topic of conversation across the island and on social media, as they affect everyone pretty much. If not directly as passengers, then via the impact on family and friends and on-island businesses.

The editor of the St Helena Independent, Vince Thompson, was one of those affected by the six-day delay in November 2018.  Click here to read his report in the Independent of the experience.

For anyone planning a trip to St Helena it is worth bearing in mind that delays could happen at any time and to be prepared. Click Here to read the SA Airlink advice regarding weather delays.


Flying on the SA Airlink Embraer and Landing at St Helena

Although we’ve not yet flown on the St Helena air service, we’ve yet to meet anyone who has, who reports anything other than the actual flight being an enjoyable experience.

Everyone it seems is impressed by the crew on board and the comfortable aircraft and flight.

The other big question for anyone disembarking at St Helena is, “how was the landing?

Of course, this stems from the wind shear issue identified in 2016. But again, no drama – it seems as though landing at St Helena has been no different than anywhere else, with many people reporting this stage of their journey being the smoothest.


Tracking the Flight In Real Time

A useful, free online tool for tracking the flights in and out of St Helena, is the flight radar website.

Enter the flight number in the search box to view the aircraft’s position and progress.

Flight Numbers

The flight numbers are SA8131 outbound, ie leaving Johannesburg, and SA8132 inbound, ie returning to Jo’burg.

Keep in mind the information is not displayed until the flight is active, ie having taken off.

Ticket Prices for Flights to St Helena

Ticket Price for Flights to St Helena – The travel times will change dramatically, but it will still be the local people who will set the pace for life on St Helena. Meet the Saints, the people of St Helena.


Planning Your Time On St Helena

We hope this information has been useful. If you are travelling to St Helena anytime soon you may be interested in ideas for how to make the most of your visit.

Click Here for our list of things to do on St Helena.



By |2018-11-29T01:49:08+00:00August 30th, 2017|St Helena|19 Comments


  1. yasmin August 27, 2018 at 8:42 am - Reply

    good day

    looking for my family in st helena – the johnsons

    where do i start and what can i do.

  2. Roland Stone December 31, 2017 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Hi ,W have been thinking about coming as tourists but the flight ticket prices are huge from South Africa…I recently paid Less for my daughter on Virgin Atlantic return flight tickets Jhburg/Heathrow/San Fransciso/Seattle at nearly 40% less price than from Jhburg/St.Helena reTurn….come on guys, please review your air-ticket prices…

    • Roland Stone August 27, 2018 at 6:09 pm - Reply

      Anyone know where I can purchase some St.Helena roasted coffee beans in South Africa to try out at home…? …since I wont be affording and airticket to visit your lovely Island..pensioner…

  3. Ken Westmoreland September 9, 2017 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    That’s astronomical! Apologies for the capitals, but that’s what I get when I type into the box.

    • WTSDN December 31, 2017 at 10:22 am - Reply

      Thanks Ken

  4. cLAUS rIDING September 4, 2017 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    What is the difference between the UPPER AND LOWER ECONOMY FARES?

    • WTSDN September 5, 2017 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      To be honest, we don’t know! Sorry. We would like to know as well. Will update the article when that information is released.
      Thanks for commenting Claus.

  5. Lisa mercury September 4, 2017 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Flight prices are very expensive for local saints on local wages.
    Seems geared for tourists and government employees on generous contracts.

    • WTSDN September 5, 2017 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      It’s definitely a lot more than what was promised throughout the previous 10 years, Lisa.
      Can only hope fares may improve a bit once the service finds its feet. Thanks for the comment.

  6. Antoinette deysel August 31, 2017 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    Did i miss info on accommodation?

    • WTSDN September 5, 2017 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      Not on our blog Antoinette, we’ve not featured accommodation yet. Cheers

  7. Annina Hayes August 31, 2017 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Fingers are still crossed for even cheaper prices to fly to Windhoek. Don’t forget Namibia as a holiday and shopping destination; safer and friendlier than SA:) Plus, Shavone and I will be opening our home up in swakopmund as a holiday home for all interested travelling saints- focusing on the positive and what we can change/control:)

    • WTSDN September 5, 2017 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      Good luck with your holiday home venture Annina, thanks for the comment. 🙂

  8. Peter Fowler August 30, 2017 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    WELL WEll,well Sold down the River again!! Prices my friend take it or-take A JUMP, HEY!no COMPETITION So….,?

    • WTSDN September 5, 2017 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the feedback Peter. There are plenty of people who share your disappointment. There was so much hope when the comair prices last year were going to be starting under £600.
      If only…

  9. Chris Daniel August 30, 2017 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the summary Darrin. I was also a bit surprised by the prices (and the wide range of prices – how do I get the cheaper ones?!) I would like to go next year some time so now I need to check on things like accommodation, getting around, planning walks, checking out wildlife (e.g. guided visits to see wirebirds?). There will be so much to look forward to!

  10. Bill Rothwell August 30, 2017 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    Hi Darrin – I’ve been following the airport saga for a couple of years and been planning my amateur radio trip for that long also ( The prices are a bit higher than I would have hoped and mean a trip from the UK costs double the price it would have been compared to Atlantic Star Airlines tickets last year – but it seems not to be much different to the boat+flight from the UK.
    I hope to get on the first flight on the 14th October and am rather nervously waiting for the announcement regarding actually buying tickets.
    I also hope flights are a great success!

    • WTSDN September 5, 2017 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the comment Bill. The price is difficult to hear especially after the Comair price last year was starting under £600 for a return ticket. I’m a bit worried the breakdown of seats per lower fare isn’t known still, so hoping for the best. Nervous, like you!

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