On Tuesday major US carrier United Airlines inaugurated its new year-round, thrice-weekly, direct service between Cape Town and Newark Liberty International Airport, in the US State of New Jersey, which serves both the nearby New York City (in New York State) and as one of United’s hub airports. This thrice-weekly service had previously only been operated during the South African summer/US winter season.
The year-round service started with a flight from Cape Town to Newark. Carrying the code UA1123, the next flight will be on Thursday, and the third on Saturday. However, thereafter, the Cape Town to Newark flights will be flown on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, retaining the flight code UA1123. The flights from Newark to Cape Town will be operated on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and coded UA1122. The service will be flown by Boeing 787-9 airliners.
“In addition to putting the US within easy reach of the Western Cape, our service makes it easy for US travellers to reach Cape Town, consistently ranked among the world’s top travel destinations,” highlighted United Airlines regional director sales Bob Schumacher. “The expansion of this service offers our business and leisure customers in South Africa and in neighbouring markets, greater choice and significantly reduced travel times.”
“The expansion of United’s New York/Newark-Cape Town operation to a year-round, three times a week service will enable renewed and expanded economic opportunities for Cape Town and the Western Cape,” pointed out Western Cape tourism, trade and investment promotion agency Wesgro and Cape Town Air Access official spokesperson Wrenelle Stander. “New York is the largest regional economy in the US, and a global hub much like Cape Town, making the cities ideal partners. We cannot discount how valuable increased connectivity is, and we would like to thank United Airlines for its continued commitment to our destination.”
Cape Town was the first destination in South Africa, and indeed Africa, to be served directly by United. The carrier started its New York/Newark-Cape Town route in December 2019. Its success led to the introduction of the airline’s New York/Newark-Johannesburg service in June 2021.
The success of its Cape Town route also encouraged United to establish routes between the US capital, Washington DC, and Accra in Ghana (in May 2021) and Lagos in Nigeria (November 2021). The carrier has applied for authorisation to add a Washington DC-Cape Town route, with effect from November this year.
United also has a code-sharing agreement with South African regional airline Airlink. This makes it easier for customers across Southern and South Africa to access its services, and easier for US travellers to reach destinations across the region and country.