Cape Town’s direct flight to the US takes a big step towards reality

united airlines 787 dreamliner cape town 2

United Airlines is now making tickets available for its first flights to and from Cape Town International Aiport and New York/New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport.

The planned route, which was first announced earlier this month, hasn’t yet passed US government approval. Nevertheless, the airline is prepared to offer its first flight, from Newark (EWR) to Cape Town (CPT), from 15 December 2019.

The flights, which will be numbered UA 1122 (EWR to CPT) and UA 1123 (CPT to EWR), will be the second direct service between Africa and the US by a US airline, joining Delta’s current service between Atlanta and Johannesburg. SAA also operates direct flights between Johannesburg and New York’s JFK.

It is, however, the first direct route between the United States and Cape Town, and between North America and Cape Town.

“Our new service between New York and Cape Town will enable our business and leisure customers to choose a more convenient and seamless way to travel between the United States and South Africa,” said United’s SVP of world sales Jake Cefolia in an emailed statement to Memeburn.

As for potential flight-fillers, Cefolia cited “South Africa’s growing tourism industry” and potential business opportunities for US citizens, specifically mentioning the “Western Cape’s technology sector.”

If United does get the nod from the US government, the flight will be serviced by the company’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet, with seating for 252 passengers.

At the time of writing, an economy ticket for the first flight UA 1122, was priced at $3307, or around R47 300.

(Currency conversion: $1 = R14.33)

Feature image: A United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner over Los Angeles Internationl Airport in 2015, by Eric Salard via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0, resized)

Andy Walker
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