The first commercial flight landed on the British island of St. Helena a few days ago. It was the first passenger flight ever to land on the remote island, located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. St. Helena’s authorities hope that the new air service from Johannesburg, South Africa will help boost tourism on the island.
Up to now only a boat service every three weeks connected the island with the African continent. It took a ship about 6 days to travel from South Africa. The small island relies heavily on British aid to survive. St. Helena’s tourism officials say that the new air link will bring 30,000 visitors to the island every year, compared to only 4,000 last year.
The airport cost almost £ 300 m and has been widely criticised as being the most useless airport in the world. Only smaller airplanes can fly to the island because strong winds to not allow large jet planes to take off and land.
Saint Helena is mostly known as the island to which French emperor Napoleon was banned and died after he had suffered a defeat at Waterloo. The British overseas territory is only 122 square kilometres large and lies 2000 km off the coast of Africa. It has a population of 4,200 .
Development on the island has been slow. It got its first mobile phone service in 2015 and the first luxury hotel on the island is opening soon. Wildlife and nature on and around the island is why tourists find there way to St. Helena. A Marine Protected Area was established there last year.
- aid = financial help; money
- air link = flights to and from a place
- air service = company that arranges flights
- authorities = the people who rule a place
- ban = here: to bring someone to a faraway place so that he/she cannot escape
- boost = improve; make better
- coast = where land meets the sea
- commercial = with passengers on board who pay for the flight
- development = to increase business, trade and growth in a region
- emperor = man who rules a group of countries
- establish = create
- heavily = very much; strongly
- luxury hotel = very expensive hotel
- Marine Protected Area = place in the ocean where animals and plants are protected
- official = a person who is in a high position in an organisation
- population = the number of people who live in an area
- rely = depend on; need
- remote = very far away
- suffer a defeat = here: lose a battle in a war
- survive = to continue to exist
- useless = not needed
- wildlife = animals and plants that grow under natural conditions
- widely = very much