The inaugural United Airlines direct flight from New Jersey’s Newark Airport to Cape Town International Airport landed at 6pm on Monday amid much pomp and ceremony.
The ultra-long-haul flight sees the airline returning to Africa – United last flew to Africa via its Houston to Lagos route, which was discontinued a few years back – with plans to operate three weekly seasonal, non-stop flights between Newark and Cape Town until March 25 next year.
Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said: “The United States is a key tourism and business market for the province, and we look forward to welcoming United’s customers to Cape Town and the Western Cape.
This new service will open up the US and North American markets to opportunities in the Western Cape, and significantly contribute towards growing our tourism sector and stimulating economic growth in the Western Cape.
United’s regional managing director of sales, Bob Schumacher, said: “Our new service […] will provide our business and leisure customers with a seamless and more convenient way to travel between South Africa and North America, and more immediate access to everything the Americas has to offer.”
Wesgro chief executive Tim Harris said: “The new route will enable new and expanded economic opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.”
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft features 48 seats in United Polaris business class, 88 seats in Economy Plus and 116 seats in United Economy.
Meanwhile, Cape Town Air Access received the Overall Winner Award for the second consecutive year at the annual Routes Africa 2019 Awards in Mombasa, Kenya last week.
Cape Town won three awards at the ceremony, including Best Airport in Africa in the 4-20 million passenger category; Destination Marketing award for Cape Town Air Access; as well as the Overall Routes Africa award.
Cape Town Air Access is a partnership between the City, the Western Cape Government, Airports Company SA, Cape Town Tourism, Wesgro and South African Tourism, which aims to land more direct routes into Cape Town International Airport.
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