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.
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.
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?