A United Airlines plane at Newark Liberty International. Pexels

On December 15 the first flight from Newark Liberty International to Cape Town International Airport will take off.

This new non-stop flight between North America will be serviced by United Airlines on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Bob Schumacher, United’s Regional Managing Director Sales says: "Our new service between Cape Town and our New York/Newark hub will enable our business and leisure customers to choose a more convenient and seamless way to travel between South Africa and the U.S. and support business opportunities between the Western Cape’s technology sector and the U.S."

The United airlines flight will depart Newark at 8.30 pm arriving in Cape Town at 6 pm, cutting the travel time between the two destinations by 8 hours in total.

According to a research commissioned by Cape Town Air Access, an estimated 24 000 additional inbound travellers are expected from the USA as a result of a direct route. 

This will help grow this market by a sizeable 20%.

Prior to the establishment of the new route, New York was the largest unserved city for Cape Town and the Western Cape globally, with 56 000 passengers travelling via connecting flights. In total, some 218 000 passengers travelled between the two destinations. 

An estimated 23 500 of these passengers travelled in Business Class, representing a 19% increase between 2017 and 2018.