St. Helena issues second RFP for scheduled services
The government of St. Helena has issued a second Request For Proposals (RFP) to all eligible parties for the provision of scheduled passenger services to the British Overseas Territory located in the southern Atlantic Ocean, reports ch-aviation.
The island's government said the contract would require the winning firm to provide regular air services to St. Helena, including a direct service between St. Helena and Georgetown Wideawake on Ascension Island. In addition, the government is also seeking a year-round, weekly flight to a recognised international hub airport or to an airport with direct connections to the UK or South Africa.
South Africa's Comair, which operates under a British Airways franchise contract, was awarded the first such contract earlier this year and had intended to run weekly return services to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo using a B737-800 back in May.
The service has yet to commence given lingering concerns about turbulence and wind shear phenomena on approach into St. Helena's Runway 20.
“The agreement awarded to Comair for the provision a scheduled air service to St. Helena is still in place, albeit in a temporarily suspended state whilst a more permanent, reliable solution for the island is considered," said Erik Venter, CEO of Comair. "The recent announcement by St. Helena's Government of a tender for air services is based on operations taking place primarily on Runway 02 (the southern approach to the runway) and is an interim measure whilst potential longer term solutions to Runway 20 are explored. We remain very much engaged with SHG and our discussions have been and will continue to be constructive and outcomes-focused.”