Titan Airways flight AWC001C lands in St. Helena

A chartered Titan Airways flight AWC001C landed in the recently cut-off Saint Helena Island on April 20, 2020. The Airbus A318, employed for the task, reportedly brought medical supplies to the remote island in the South Atlantic Ocean amid the fight of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. 

The journey of Titan Airways Airbus A318-200, registration number G-EUNB, originated from London, United Kingdom, and involved no less than one stopover. On the first leg, it operated flight AWC001A from  London Stansted (STN) to Accra Kotoka International Airport (ACC), Ghana, departing and arriving on April 19, 2020.  

From there, the aircraft presumably flew to Ascension Island (ASI), before arriving to to St. Helena (HLE) is the flight AWC001C, on April 20, 2020, as flightradar24.com data indicates. 

Why is flight AWC001C special?

As the global coronavirus pandemics have left commercial passenger airlines largely on the ground, part of their previous capacity has been switched to repatriation and special cargo flights. Many of them are unique in their own right, like the Air Tahiti Nui flight TN064, which broke the distance record in March 2020.

The flight AWC001C, while not a record-breaking one, has caught aviation geeks’ attention for several reasons, starting with the destination place and its frail links to the aviation world. 

St. Helena Island, the British Overseas Territory, is a remote volcanic tropical island in the South Atlantic Ocean. Famously, a place of Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile, the island is known for its remoteness from the outside world. 

The construction of its airport, Saint Helena Airport (HLE), was only finished in 2015, opening its doors to general aviation, charter, and medical evacuation flights the following year. Previously, the location was accessible by a five-day journey by ship. 

The first scheduled commercial service to the island was inaugurated on October 14, 2017, Airlink, a South African airline, began a weekly service originating from Johannesburg (South Africa). 

However, amid the global coronavirus outbreak, the airline suspended all its operations from March 26, in hopes to reinstate flight connectivity to St. Helena starting from April 25, 2020. In turn, this might mean that AWC001C might be the only flight to the island in a month.

Finally, according to the flightradar24.com, the Titan Airways A318 is carrying medical staff, 960 COVID-19 test kits, 5 ventilators, and 2.5 tons of supplies, to fight back the pandemics. Curiously, St. Helena Island is one of a few places remaining in the world, where no COVID-19 cases have been detected, based on World Health Organization data as of April 19, 2020.

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