United Airlines Inaugurates Nonstop Daily Service to South Africa

6 min read

Between New York/Newark and Johannesburg

United Airlines has inaugurated its nonstop daily service between its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and O.R. Tambo International Airport, with the arrival of the first flight into Johannesburg today. The new service is operated with state-of-the-art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring United’s award-winning United PolarisSM business class cabin and United Premium PlusSM premium economy seats. Together with the airline’s seasonal, three-times weekly service between Cape Town and New York/Newark, United will offer more nonstop services from South Africa than any other U.S airline and is the only airline providing a daily nonstop service between Johannesburg and New York.

A special (grey) water salute marked the arrival of United flight UA188 from New York/Newark, with Nompumelelo (Mpumi) Z. Mpofu, CEO Airports Company South Africa, Todd Haskell, Chargé d’Affaires U.S. Mission to South Africa and Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, South Africa Minister of Tourism welcoming the first arriving United customers at O.R. Tambo International Airport.

“We are excited to inaugurate our new service between New York/Newark and Johannesburg, which further expands our Africa route network and provides our customers from South Africa with even greater travel choices via our New York/Newark hub to as many as 80 U.S. destinations this year,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s Vice President of International Network and Alliances. “This service, operated with a brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, offers our customers from South Africa our newest, award-winning aircraft, featuring our United Polaris suites and United Premium Plus seats.”

“The inauguration of daily flights by United Airlines is a vote of confidence in South Africa as a safe destination for business and leisure tourism, but also in the health and safety protocols we apply to ensure that air travel to, from and within South Africa remains safe and does not promote the spread of COVID-19 internationally. As Africa’s largest airport operator, we are acutely aware of the social and economic impact that the pandemic and travel restrictions have caused. The opening of this new long-haul route is a major milestone on South Africa’s and the region’s road to recovery,” said Mpumi Mpofu, Airports Company South Africa CEO.

“United Airlines’ launch of daily service between Newark and Johannesburg shows the confidence and connection that binds our two countries. This flight builds a bridge between the United States and South Africa that will open doors for greater trade and investment and inject millions of dollars into South Africa’s tourism economy. We are proud to open this new chapter in our relationship,” said Todd Haskell, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Mission to South Africa.

“We are excited to welcome United Airlines as it will definitely boost South Africa’s efforts to continue to grow business and leisure tourists’ arrivals out of North America. South Africa is ready to welcome back visitors from across the world and is certainly open for business. We look forward to many years of success on this route, as we continue to satisfy the needs of our travellers,” said Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, South Africa Minister of Tourism.

“The aviation sector worldwide has been severely impacted by the pandemic. Our Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has not been an exception. Though we have not recovered to pre-covid numbers, the indications are that we are on a recovery path and South Africa is still a destination of choice for economic and tourism travellers. The return of United Airlines to South Africa is one of the important indicators that we are on a recovery path and the aviation sector will see growth. We welcome and celebrate the return of United Airlines back to our open skies,” said Fikile Mbalula, South Africa Minister of Transport.

The United Travel Experience
United’s new service from Johannesburg to New York/Newark is operated with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring 48 all-aisle-access United Polaris business suites, 21 United Premium Plus premium economy, 39 Economy PlusSM and 149 Economy seats. The revolutionary design of the Dreamliner offers customers many features for increased comfort, such as large windows, spacious overhead storage and modern LED lighting to simulate a full day, helping passengers adjust their internal clock on the transatlantic flight. In addition, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and smoother ride help customers feel rested on arrival.

United Polaris business class is a premium travel experience that prioritises relaxation and comfort, featuring restaurant-quality inflight dining, premium amenity kits and full flat-bed seats.

United in South Africa
United began service to South Africa in 2019 with a seasonal service from Cape Town. In addition to the new service from Johannesburg to New York/Newark, United is set to resume its seasonal three-times weekly nonstop service from Cape Town to New York/Newark in November 2021. Flights are conveniently timed to connect at United’s New York/Newark hub with an extensive network of services to destinations throughout the Americas. United customers in South Africa can book flights by visiting united.com or contacting the United Reservations on 0214268058 or their travel agent.

United in New York/Newark
In June 2021, United plans to operate more than 200 daily flights to more than 100 destinations around the world from its New York/Newark hub, and is set to increase to almost 250 daily flights to more than 110 destinations around the world in July 2021. United expects to operate its full schedule from Newark later this year with 450 daily departures to 150 destinations including approximately 80 throughout the U.S. Located just 14 miles from Manhattan, Newark Liberty International Airport offers the fastest surface transfer journeys to many parts of the city, including the AirTrain service to New York Penn Station in midtown Manhattan, with a journey time of less than 30 minutes.

Committed to Ensuring a Safe Journey
United is committed to putting health and safety at the forefront of every customer’s journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness through its United CleanPlusTM programme.

United has teamed up with Clorox and Cleveland Clinic to redefine cleaning and health safety procedures from check-in to landing and has implemented more than a dozen new policies, protocols and innovations designed with the safety of customers and employees in mind. To manage entry requirements in different destinations, and find places to get tests, customers can visit United’s Travel-Ready Center.