United Airlines to introduce non-stop flights to Cape Town

Photo: © Oliver Holzbauer

United Airlines plans to launch the first non-stop service between the United States and Cape Town, South Africa, subject to government approval.

The airline intends to operate three weekly flights from New York Newark Liberty International Airport to Cape Town International Airport, starting in December 2019.

United says it will use Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft with a total of 252 seats on the seasonal route, which will become the airline’s first connection to the African continent. The carrier’s fleet of almost 800 airplanes includes 25 Boeing 787-9 and 12 787-8, as well as seven 787-10, of which United became the first American operator in November 2018.

Cape Town Airport currently does not have any direct flights to the United States. The route offering mostly consists of destinations in southern Africa, along with a number of long-haul flights to Europe and the Middle East.

Johannesburg, which hosts South Africa’s largest airport at 21 million yearly passengers, offers two direct connections to the US. A route operated by United Airlines’ Star Alliance partner South African Airways (SAA) to New York JFK, as well as a Delta Air Lines connection from Atlanta’s Hartsfield–Jackson International Airport, both flights operate on a daily basis.

Read more: United recently started flying the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner to Frankfurt and Tel Aviv.