South African regional carrier Airlink has announced that its flights between OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and St. Helena Airport (HLE) on the island of St Helena in the Atlantic Ocean will now perform an en-route technical fuel-stop at Walvis Bay International Airport (WVB) in Walvis Bay rather than at Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek, as from 07 April 2019. The flight schedule will remain the same; the flight departs from Johannesburg at 09:00 arriving on St Helena at 13:15 (local time). The return flight departs St Helena at 14:30 arriving in Johannesburg at 21:15 (local time). The service is operated by an Embraer 190 E-jet. The return flight from St Helena will normally operate non-stop.
Due to the flight duration and prevailing headwinds, an en-route technical fuel-stop is necessary. This refuelling stop currently takes place at Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek, which was initially chosen because of the possibility of connectivity.
With Walvis Bay located at 300ft above sea-level with cooler meteorological conditions compared to Windhoek at 5600ft above sea level, Airlink will benefit by accommodating an additional 11 customers between Johannesburg and St Helena . Currently the flight is restricted to 87 seats including 6 business class seats on departing from Windhoek due to high temperature and high airport elevation.