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Welcome to St Helena: we are aboard first flight

Thousands of people across the south with links to the remote island of St Helena are celebrating this week because it's become much easier to get there.

Until now a ship which used to sail from Portland in Dorset was the island's only link to the outside world.

Now - more than a year late - a new airport is fully open. Richard Jones was aboard the first regular commercial flight to St Helena in the middle of the South Atlantic.

He talked to Catherine Man, island vet; Bill Rothwell, tourist; Jeremy Johns, islander; and Robert Midwinter, islander.


RMS St Helena says farewell to UK for last time

Centuries of tradition ended today as the last proper Royal Mail ship set sail from the UK for the final time.

The RMS St Helena left London on a two-week voyage to the remote South Atlantic island she's named after.

Many St Helenians who live in the UK were there to wave goodbye and to say farewell to relatives heading home.

Interviewees: Tony Leo, passenger; Lawson Henry, passenger; Ann Frearson, tourist; Adam Williams, Chief Officer.

Here is the news: the world is welcoming St Helena

Our final report from the remote British island of St Helena.

Peaceful, calm, quiet, safe. That's how many St Helenians describe the island where they live.

And that's what they want to protect after their new airport opens and more tourists start to visit.

Richard Jones looks ahead to how to island might change.

Future of remote British island, St Helena, depends on tourism

Until now anyone wanting to visit the remote island of St Helena would have to set aside at least three weeks because they'd have to make the journey by sea.

Now that the Island is finally getting an airport, travelling there will be much easier.

Many say the very future of St Helena depends on attracting more tourists, and so boosting the economy.

Richard Jones reports from St Helena as it prepares to welcome the world.

St Helena prepares to welcome the modern world

The remote island of St. Helena is seeing major improvements to its economy and infrastructure, ahead of the opening of its first airport.

The population of the island has fallen by a third in recent years - as people left to find opportunities overseas. In fact, more people from the remote island in the South Atlantic live in the South of the UK, than St. Helena itself.

But with a new airport and a turnaround in the island's economy, Richard Jones looks at whether St. Helenians can be convinced to return.


St Helena Governor looks forward to bright new future

Richard Jones visited Plantation House to speak to the Governor of St Helena.

Mark Capes arrived on St Helena as head of government in 2011 just as the airport contract was signed.

How does he think the island will change - and what were his first impressions when he came to St Helena four years ago?

What do the UK's St Helenians think of the new airport?

What do St Helenians - and descendants of St Helenians who live in the UK - think of the airport? Are they pleased it'll be easier and quicker to get there? Do they think the Island will change?

Richard Jones spoke to a cross-section of St Helenians. First is Gavin Thomas from Bordon in Hampshire who moved to the UK in 1989 but visits St Helena regularly.

Then Madeleine Sweeney, from Southampton, who has relatives from St Helena and first visited in 2008.

At the St Helena Sports Day in Reading during the summer he spoke to Candy Moyce, President of the UK St Helena Association who came to the UK in 1957, and to Professor Dan Yon, a St Helenian who now lectures at York University in Canada.

The new airport in St Helena - built with help from Meridian region

How do you transport the materials to build an airport in the middle of the South Atlantic?

Everything needed has to be transported hundreds of miles by sea.

Our reporter Richard Jones has been to visit the world's newest international airport and to meet a man from Oxfordshire who's helped to build it.

Bright future for remote island of St Helena

It's always been described as one of the most isolated places on earth - the only way to get there has been a long voyage by sea.

But now the British overseas territory of St Helena in the middle of the South Atlantic, and connected to South Africa by sea, is just months away from the opening of its first airport.

Our reporter Richard Jones first visited the island six years ago and has been back as it prepares to welcome the world. This is the first of a series of special reports throughout the week.

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