United Plans to Expand Service to Cape Town, Non-Stop Flights From New York/Newark

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United announced it plans to expand service to one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations by offering three nonstop flights per week, year-round, between New York/Newark and Cape Town International Airport, subject to government approval.

The new schedule starts on June 5 and means that more than 85 U.S. cities – including places like Chicago, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles – will be more conveniently connected to one of the 25 best cities in the world.

United will fly a 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft that includes 48 lie-flat, United Polaris business class seats, 21 United Premium Plus seats and 39 seats in Economy Plus. All seats are equipped with seatback on-demand entertainment to help customers pass the time and relax during their travels.

United is the only airline to offer nonstop flights between the U.S. and Cape Town and offers more flights to South Africa than any other North American carrier.

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“By offering flights to Cape Town year-round, we’re making it even easier for our customers to visit one of the world’s best destinations,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s senior vice president of international network planning and alliances. “United’s direct flights from New York/Newark cut the usual travel time to Cape Town by more than five hours, giving visitors extra time to enjoy the beauty and majesty of South Africa.”

According to Expedia’s 2022 Travel Trends Report, more than two-thirds of Americans (68%) are planning to go big on their next trip, and nearly a third plan to visit a bucket-list destination this year. This resurgence in international travel is something those in the South African tourism industry are eagerly awaiting.

“This announcement provides much-needed relief to the tourism and hospitality sector in the Western Cape and will support economic recovery in the province,” said Wrenelle Stander, CEO of Wesgro. “We welcome the news of this expansion and thank United Airlines for their commitment to serving this world-class tourism destination.”

United first launched flights to Cape Town in December 2019, and it quickly became one of the airline’s marquee international routes. The airline later built upon this success in Africa with the launch of flights between New York/Newark and Johannesburg in June 2021, new service between Washington D.C. and Accra, Ghana in May 2021 and between Washington D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria in November 2021.

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This expanded service also strengthens United’s leading network from New York/Newark. United offers service to 74 international destinations from New York/Newark, more than any U.S. carrier. In 2022, the airline will introduce new service to additional international destinations including Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Azores, Portugal; Bergen, Norway; Tenerife, Spain and Nice, France.

Cape Town is South Africa’s second-largest city and a melting pot of creativity and cuisine, ranking among the most beautiful in the world. Four towns in the Western Cape Province –  Knysna, Stellenbosch, Hermanus, and Cape Town –  were recently among the Top 100 most Loved Places in the World in a global consumer sentiment analysis conducted by the destination marketing agency, Destination Think.


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