United Airlines To Open Washington-Cape Town Route

The route is the result of a recent awarding of frequencies by the US Transportation Department. 

United Airlines will launch flights between Washington Dulles (IAD) and Cape Town (CPT) in South Africa in November after gaining permission from the US Transportation Department (DOT).

United and Delta Air Lines had both applied to DOT to operate three of four remaining weekly frequencies allowed under the US-South African air services agreement. But DOT negotiated an additional two frequencies with South Africa, bringing the total to 23 weekly flights between the countries. Both airlines are now able to operate 3X-weekly to Cape Town.

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Delta has not formally announced the route, but its application in February to DOT sought rights to operate flights between Atlanta (ATL) and CPT 3X-weekly from Nov. 18 using Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

United noted it will be the only airline flying the IAD-CPT route, which it will operate 3X-weekly from Nov. 17 using Boeing 787-9 aircraft. It already operates to CPT from Newark (EWR) in New Jersey.   

The new route will bring to 19 the number of weekly flights United will operate to Africa. It also serves Johannesburg (JNB) from EWR and from IAD it operates to Accra (ACC) in Ghana and Lagos (LOS) in Nigeria. 


"These new flights build upon our existing year-round New York/Newark to Cape Town service,” United senior VP-global network planning and alliances Patrick Quayle said. “Together they'll provide a near-daily pattern from the US to Cape Town along with connectivity to the broader region through our Airlink partnership."

The Chicago-based airline last year inked a codeshare agreement with Johannesburg-based Airlink to provide wide connectivity options in South Africa for United’s passengers. Airlink operates a hub at CPT.

Source: Routes Online

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