United Airlines has applied for permission to launch non-stop flights between New York/Newark Liberty International airport and Cape Town, South Africa starting 15 December.

The carrier plans to operate three direct services per week on board a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner featuring 48 seats in United Polaris business class, 88 in Economy Plus and 116 in Economy.

United claims the new service will decrease the flight time of the current New York-Cape Town route by more than four hours by eliminating a stop along the way and provides travellers from more than 80 US cities with one-stop access to the South African city.

Proposed flights will depart Newark at 2030, landing in Cape Town at 1800 the next day (local time). Return services will leave at 2050 and land at 0545 the following morning (local time).

Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president of international network, commented: “We are always looking at ways to expand our industry-leading international route network to offer our customers more convenient options. We’re thrilled to announce the addition of Africa to our global route offering. This new flight will provide customers with the only non-stop service between the United States and Cape Town.”


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