United seeks approval for new South Africa route

Washington DC-Cape Town flights to debut in mid-November, subject to approval

Cape Town, South Africa | Credit: Marlin Clark/Unsplash

United Airlines has revealed plans to commence new non-stop flights between Washington DC and Cape Town, commencing 17 November 2022.

UA is seeking government approval to launch three weekly flights between the US capital and South Africa’s legislative capital using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

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In its application to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), United said: “If approved, the flights between Dulles and Cape Town will connect 55 cities across the United States to Cape Town, representing more than 90 percent of the entire US travel demand to Cape Town. United’s Washington Dulles hub is a gateway to the nation’s capital and elsewhere, operating more than 230 daily flights to nearly 100 destinations around the world – including more than 10 world capitals and new service to Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria.”

US Capitol Building in Washington DC | Photo by Elijah Mears on Unsplash

“If awarded by the DOT, this historic nonstop service will significantly enhance travel options for consumers, strengthen ties between our countries legislative and diplomatic epicenters, and benefit thriving travel and tourism industries serving our respective countries.”

The Washington DC to Cape Town route is the largest between the US and South Africa without nonstop service. Washington DC is the second largest point in the US for Cape Town demand and holds the fifth-largest South-African-born population.

“United’s proposed weekly flights will address this gap and complement United’s existing South Africa service between New York/Newark and Cape Town and Johannesburg, providing nearly daily service to Cape Town offered by a single carrier,” the airline added.

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