United Airlines launched its inaugural flight from New York to Johannesburg this weekend. Picture: supplied.
United Airlines launched its inaugural flight from New York to Johannesburg this weekend. Picture: supplied.

Fly directly to New York with United’s new Johannesburg route

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Jun 7, 2021

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The service between Newark Liberty International Airport and O.R. Tambo International Airport will offer effortless travel between the two destinations.

United is currently the only airline providing a daily nonstop service between Johannesburg and New York.

The new route follows the airline's United seasonal, three-times-weekly service between Cape Town and New York.

United will operate the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft that features award-winning United Polaris SM business class cabin and United Premium PlusSM premium economy seats.

To commemorate the milestone, a special water salute marked the arrival of United flight UA188 this weekend.

The special occasion was attended by CEO Airports Company South Africa Nompumelelo Z. Mpofu, South Africa Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, and Chargé d'Affaires US Mission to South Africa Todd Haskell.

Patrick Quayle, the Vice President of International Network and Alliances for United said the new route further expands its Africa route network.

He said it allows South African travellers greater travel choices via the New York/Newark hub to around 80 US destinations.

Mpofu said the inauguration of daily flights by United Airlines is a vote of confidence in South Africa as a safe destination for business and leisure tourism.

"As Africa’s largest airport operator, we are aware of the social and economic impact that the pandemic and travel restrictions have caused. The opening of this new long-haul route is a major milestone on South Africa’s and the region’s road to recovery,” said Mpofu in a statement.

Kubayi-Ngubane said the route will boost South Africa's efforts to continue to grow business and leisure tourists' arrivals out of North America.

She said South Africa is ready to welcome back visitors from across the world and is open for business.

"It is a great pleasure to welcome this United Airlines direct flight from Newark Airport to Johannesburg. Johannesburg is home to the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site. It is a vibrant city that is a melting pot of history, culture, fashion, food and entertainment epicentre. We are excited by this development as it would definitely boost South Africa's efforts to continue to grow business and leisure tourist arrivals. We look forward to many years of success on this route, as we continue to satisfy the needs of our travellers," said Kubayi-Ngubane.

Fikile Mbalula, South Africa Minister of Transport, said the return of United Airlines to South Africa is "one of the important indicators that we are on a recovery path and the aviation sector will see growth."

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