One of world’s most remote islands gets commercial flights


One of the world’s most remote places became a little less isolated, when the first commercial flight departed for St Helena, a South-Atlantic island that until recently was only accessible by boat. The island claims pride over Napoleon Bonaparte spending his last years in exile here.

The SA Airlink plane left Johannesburg on a six-hour journey to the British-ruled territory, which hopes to draw more tourists to its rugged landscapes, marine life and the novelty of visiting a spot far off the beaten track.

Discovered by Portuguese mariners in 1502, St Helena was a way station for ships for centuries and was a key port for Britain’s East India Company. It was also an ideal spot for the British to keep prisoners, including a Zulu prince and his retinue, thousands of Boer prisoners from South Africa’s conflict near the beginning of the 20th century and, of course, Napoleon.