A meeting was held on Saturday, 10 November 2018, to undertake the first annual review of the contract to provide an air service to St Helena. Chief Financial Officer in Airlink, de Villiers Engelbrecht, joined representatives from the St Helena Government (SHG), Enterprise St Helena (ESH), and Legislative Council for the meeting. Representatives from the Department for International Development (DFID) joined via telephone link.
The meeting was chaired by SHG Deputy Airport Contracts Manager, James Kellett, who led discussion on a wide range of topics. Agenda items included a review of the annual performance of the contract in its first year, marketing activities actioned to date, plans for 2019 and beyond in respect of commercial and marketing activities, and discussion on various operational matters.
We are all pleased with the first year of operations and in particular to have a service that experienced a small surplus; this has only been possible due to the close cooperation of SHG, Airlink, airport staff and subcontractors, and ESH. We now turn our focus to using the lessons learnt from this initial year as the service grows in the second year of operations.
The meeting also included discussion around ongoing operations from Johannesburg, future plans for the air service, as well as planning for the additional flights due to commence in December 2018.
Chief Executive for Economic Development, Dawn Cranswick, said:
The Review Meeting provided some useful insights into Airlink's promotion of St Helena as one of their destinations, and we will be working together on co-ordination of our activities for the future.
Airlink's CEO and Managing director, Rodger Foster, added:
The occasion of the first anniversary of the St Helena air link is worthy of celebration, especially so given that during the first year of operations over 6,000 customers experienced the time efficiency of air access. We are delighted to have delivered safe and reliable air services and to have transformed access to and from St Helena. Airlink is privileged to have a close working relationship with the St Helena Government and we will continue to look for ways in which the service may be improved and in particular in addressing the wishes of our customers.
SHG, Airlink, DFID and ESH will continue to meet on a regular basis to monitor the performance of the service, plan for future changes, and to discuss operational matters as they arise.
Source: St Helena Government