United Continues South African Dominance With Year-Round Cape Town Flights

Haut Bay, Cape Town, October 2021 ©DansDeals
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United first launched service to South Africa in October 2019, with seasonal 3 weekly nonstop flights between Newark and Cape Town. At the time they said they hoped to see the route succeed and get extended to year-round service.

The route didn’t operate for the 2020-2021 season due to COVID, but returned for the December 2021-March 2022 season.

In the meantime, United launched year-round daily nonstop service between Newark and Johannesburg.

United announced today that the Newark-Cape Town route will operate year-round starting in June.

South African Airways hasn’t flown to the US since before COVID. Delta was once dominant between the US and South Africa, but they have struggled of late. They retired their 777 fleet during the pandemic, which was their longest range aircraft as they don’t have any 787s. They wanted to fly a triangle route from Atlanta-Johannesburg-Cape Town-Atlanta, but the South African government denied that request. Instead they have been flying the A350 nonstop between Atlanta to Johannesburg, but they have seen diversions from Johannesburg to Boston, Miami, and San Juan as the plane struggles with operating the route.

Cape Town may very well be the most stunning city in the world. Best of all, your dollar goes very far in South Africa and there are some delicious kosher restaurants to choose from.

From Cape Town you can catch a flight to places like Johannesburg, Kruger National Park, Victoria Falls, Namibia, Mauritius, etc. for an extended vacation in Southern Africa. We had a great time doing just that last October.

Cable Car going up Table Mountain, Cape Town, October 2021 ©DansDeals


With South African down for the count and Delta’s self-inflicted operational woes, the timing is perfect for United to expand their presence in the market.

Have you flown United to South Africa?

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5 Comments On "United Continues South African Dominance With Year-Round Cape Town Flights"

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Nice! I flew the JNB-EWR direction last September. Obviously not the same experience as flying QR but hard to beat the time savings! Looking forward to the new route. Will this be 3x weekly or daily?


Do you have an outline of which miles can be used for this flight and at what costs? Apologies if this is already posted somewhere else. I see some availability for 70k United Miles each way in Polaris but was thinking Aeroplan or ANA might also be options. Thanks for everything you do!


All still waiting for the trip report


Just flew United this week Ewr- JnB. Great service, new Dreamliner plane. SAA is likely dead for this route. Will be hard for them to get back in and build trust when their incompetence has been shown financially, who’s going to trust them with operating and maintaining their planes when you have rock solid alternatives. Maybe the fact that they would be out of JFK would be an advantage for them, but who knows.