Several months ago I asked if United would pull off nonstops from Newark to both Cape Town and Johannesburg, which would be a huge win over Delta. Delta can no longer fly from Johannesburg to Atlanta nonstop due to their imminent 777 fleet retirement and their lack of 787s, so they are switching to an inconvenient triangle route from Atlanta to Johannesburg to Cape Town to Atlanta.
United started flying seasonally nonstop between Newark and Cape Town last December.
Today, United started selling its new daily nonstop service between Newark and Johannesburg starting in March 2021.
With South African Airways’ operations suspended due to financial woes, United will leapfrog from having no South Africa presence just 1 year ago, to having the biggest North America-South Africa presence, which is pretty incredible!
I’ve never seen business class saver award space on Delta between North America and South Africa, but United has excellent business class saved award space from Johannesburg to Newark for just 70K miles one-way.
Availability from Newark to Johannesburg seems to be limited to Platinum/1K/GS elites.
On Delta you would have to make 2 stops in Cape Town and Atlanta, and pay some 465K Skypesos:
Do you have South Africa in your travel plans?