United Airlines

United Airlines has applied with the U.S. Department of Transportation for authority to begin new service between New York/Newark Liberty International Airport and Cape Town International Airport. United plans to operate nonstop three-times weekly flights to Cape Town starting in December 2019.

“We are always looking at ways to expand our industry-leading international route network to offer our customers more convenient options. We’re thrilled to announce the addition of Africa to our global route offering,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president of International Network. “This new flight will provide customers with the only nonstop service between the United States and Cape Town.” 

United’s nonstop service between New York/Newark and Cape Town will decrease the current travel time from New York to Cape Town by more than four hours and provide customers from more than 80 U.S. cities with easy one-stop access to Cape Town. If approved, United’s service between New York/Newark and Cape Town will be operated with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft featuring 48 seats in United Polaris business class, 88 seats in United Economy Plus and 116 seats in United Economy.

Proposed Flight Schedule, Beginning December 15, 2019*
From To Depart Arrive Aircraft
New York/Newark Cape Town 20:30 6:00 p.m. +1 Boeing 787-9
Cape Town New
York
8:50 p.m. 5:45 a.m. +1 Boeing 787-9
*Subject to government approval

Oz Desai, GM Corporate Traveller adds that a direct flight between Cape Town and New York would be a very welcome development for both leisure and business travel from and to South Africa.

“Cape Town recently overtook Johannesburg as South Africa’s number one financial hub, according to the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI 24), while New York takes top position as the number one financial hub worldwide. Linking these two powerful business hubs with a direct flight will significantly boost business between the countries. Direct nonstop travel, minimising total trip time, is as important as any other perk for business travellers and travel managers today. They want the most convenient and quickest flight options that will allow them to save time and show up rested at their destination,” says Desai.