The industry has reacted with elation to the news that United Airlines will offer three non-stop flights a week, year-round, between Cape Town International Airport and its New York/Newark hub.
“Having just landed at Newark International Airport, flying on United’s non-stop service from South Africa, I was excited to hear they are going to continue their Cape Town schedule year-round,” said CEO of Giltedge Travel, Murray Gardiner.
He said Cape Town was important for the US market as most clients started their African safari in the Mother City. “They also travel over their summer holidays, so the non-stop service over this period can only help to increase inbound tourism to South Africa,” Gardiner said.
Equally upbeat was Wrenelle Stander, CEO of Wesgro – Tourism, trade, and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape. “This announcement provides much-needed relief to the tourism and hospitality sector in the Western Cape and will support economic recovery in the province.
“We welcome the news of this expansion and thank United Airlines for their commitment to serving this world-class tourism destination.”
United’s Cape Town service supports the Cape Town Air Access initiative led by Wesgro, in partnership with Airports Company South Africa, the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Provincial Government, South African Tourism, and private-sector corporates in diverse sectors.
City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, James Vos, told Tourism Update: “United Airlines earlier-than-expected return signals that there is great demand from American tourists to visit Cape Town.
“The direct route holds great opportunities for the Mother City, with up to 24 000 potential inbound passengers from New York and numerous more travel and trade possibilities that will be of significant benefit to our economy.”
Vos added that the City’s DMO, Cape Town Tourism, and his department were engaging with key tourism operators in New York about strengthening partnerships that would drive supply and demand for the mutual benefit of both cities.
CEO of the MORE Family Collection, Rob More, noted that the US was a key partner. “Even more so as we try to rebuild our business and our industry. We applaud United for backing South Africa and being a key player in its recovery, which we know will deliver returns for them and their travelers.”
New schedule New York to Cape Town
The new schedule starts on June 5 from New York/Newark to Cape Town and on June 7 from Cape Town to New York/Newark, with the possibility to connect via United’s New York/Newark hub to more than 85 US cities, including Chicago, Houston, Washington DC, and Los Angeles.
United is the only airline to offer non-stop flights between Cape Town and the US.
“By introducing more flights from Cape Town to our New York/Newark hub in 2022, we are offering our customers in South Africa greater choice with this direct flight to the US,” said Bob Schumacher, United Regional Director Sales.
United first launched flights from Cape Town in December 2019 and it quickly became one of the airline’s flagship international routes.
According to Schumacher, the expansion of United’s Cape Town to New York service will enable renewed and expanded economic opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.
The schedule (subject to change) will be:
From June 5 onwards:
Flight UA 1122 departs Newark at 20h15 on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, arriving in Cape Town at 17h10 the following day.
From June 7-11:
Flight UA 1123 departs Cape Town at 19h50 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, arriving in Newark at 05h30 the following day.
From June 13 onwards:
Flight UA 1123 on Mon/Thu/Sat departs Cape Town at 19h50 on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, arriving in Newark at 05h30 the following day.
A Boeing 787-9 will be deployed on the route.