United Becomes the First Airline to Fly Nonstop to Cape Town From D.C

Today, United Airlines announced new direct flights between Washington D.C and Cape Town, South Africa. In doing so, the major U.S carrier became the first airline to provide a nonstop roundtrip service from the capital of the United States to South Africa’s capital. 

Flights to ‘The Mother City’

Chicago-based carrier United Airlines announced today that it will be launching flights from Washington Dulles Airport and Cape Town International Airport. 

The new route will allow customers from both countries to connect to other points in South Africa and other countries in the southern region of the continent with United’s SA-based partner Airlink.  

The U.S Department of Transportation granted United three weekly direct flights that will start on 17 November once approval is granted from the South African government. However, tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased via United’s website or app.

Cape Town International Airport
On 1 October 2020, Cape Town International Airport welcomed international traveling for the first time since the initial lockdown in March. | © Suné Payne

The service will be operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner which features 188 economy seats, 48 of United’s Polaris business class seats, and 21 Premium Plus seats. 

Patrick Quayle is United’s Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances. He commented on the new D.C – Cape Town route with joy:

“We are thrilled to further expand our Africa offering with this first-ever direct link between Washington DC and Cape Town. These new flights build upon our existing year-round New York/Newark to Cape Town service – together they’ll provide a near-daily pattern from the U.S. to Cape Town along with connectivity to the broader region through our Airlink partnership.”

Following the launch of the D.C – Cape Town service, United will offer 19 weekly flights to Africa. From Washington Dulles Airport, United also flies to Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria.

Currently, United operates a year-round service from New York’s Newark Liberty International Airport to Cape Town. The route started as a seasonal service in 2019 but expanded to a yearly service after proving successful. 

The Star Alliance airline has operated more flights to South Africa than any other North American airline. 

In the name of football

Elsewhere, this Tuesday United announced that it will be offering over 120 more flights to its schedule to accommodate American college football fans over the Autumn. 

According to a recent survey of the airline’s loyalty customers, United made the pleasant discovery that over 80% of avid football fans are likely to see an away game this season. Connections to states such as Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Iowa and Michigan will help keen football fans get to the game. 

Tickets are available to book now.

Will you be flying to Cape Town with United? Have a chat with us in the comments below. 

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Jasmine Adjallah
Jasmine Adjallah
Jr Reporter - Aspiring to work in a journalism, PR, Communications/media role, Jasmine is using her gap year as an opportunity to learn, gain experience and grow as a person. Interested in the sports, aviation and broadcasting world. At Travel Radar she is a Jr. Reporter working with the publication over Summer 2022.


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