United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

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United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by GL » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:35 pm

United Airlines Returns To Africa With World's First U.S. To Cape Town Flight
Ted Reed

United Airlines says it will return to Africa this winter, when it will become the first airline to fly non-stop between the United States and Cape Town, South Africa.

Starting Dec. 15, United will fly a Boeing 787-9 between its Newark hub and Cape Town, the second largest city in South Africa with a metropolitan area population of nearly 4 million and a location on the southern tip of the African continent.

The route serves “a huge business market in South Africa and a high premium leisure market,” said Patrick Quayle, United vice president of international network. “No one has ever flown it non-stop.”


Cape Town is the largest city in Africa that lacks non-stop service from North America, Quayle said. Each day, about 350 people fly each way between the two destinations, utilizing routes with one or more stops.

The next two cities on the list are Entebbe, Uganda, with 140 daily passengers each way and Abuja, Nigeria, with 130 daily passengers each way.

Currently, all service from the United States to South Africa has Johannesburg as the destination, with flights from New York Kennedy and Washington Dulles (direct, one-stop) on South African Airways and daily service from Atlanta on Delta. South African is United’s partner in the Star Alliance.

Johannesburg, a difficult market for airlines to serve because of its high altitude (5,751 feet) and warm climate, makes nonstop trans-Atlantic flights difficult for the 787. Other carriers use a 777LR or four-engine aircraft for higher thrust on takeoff.

United’s Boeing 787-900 seats 252 passengers in three classes including premium economy. The eastbound flight takes 14 ½ hours while eastbound takes 15 hours and 50 minutes.

The service will initially be seasonal. However, the airline is open to extending the schedule if the demand builds. The carrier started San Francisco-Tahiti as a thrice-weekly, winter flight and now flies the route year-round.

In its previous effort to serve Africa, United flew Houston to Lagos, Nigeria. The flight operated between 2011 and June 2016.

In May 2016, United said it would end the service the following month. “The IAH-LOS route has been underperforming financially for several years,” United said in a memo to employees. “Because of its importance to key Houston-based customers, we continued to invest in it; however, the recent downturn in the energy sector has caused these customers to spend less on travel.”

In the past two years, United has started 22 international destinations including Newark to Naples and Porto; Washington Dulles to Tel Aviv starting May 22, and San Francisco- Tahiti. “We are constantly look for ways to grow and add unique content,” Quayle said.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by pwnel » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:55 pm

Whoa ... that's great news. I still prefer SAA - the service and food is just better - especially in economy. But for Business Class when the company pays this becomes a no-brainer.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by evanb » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:52 am

Hue news for Cape Town and congrats to Wesgro. They have been working on this for a long time!
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by Trent772B » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:58 am

United codeshares on SAA JNB-JFK-JNB. I wonder if SAA will codeshare with United on this route.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by FoxTROT » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:37 am

GL wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:35 pm
United Airlines Returns To Africa With World's First U.S. To Cape Town Flight
This statement is not true. SAA operated a Cape Town - Miami nonstop flight for many years which later switched to Fort Lauderdale westbound and a nonstop from Atlanta eastbound.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by Richard007 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:15 am

Yes, I remember being on that flight once. Had an onward leg to JNB but you could get off in CPT.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by trees » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:44 pm

FoxTROT wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:37 am
GL wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:35 pm
United Airlines Returns To Africa With World's First U.S. To Cape Town Flight
This statement is not true. SAA operated a Cape Town - Miami nonstop flight for many years which later switched to Fort Lauderdale westbound and a nonstop from Atlanta eastbound.
So did Delta
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by evanb » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:53 pm

trees wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:44 pm
So did Delta
Delta never operated non-stop. It stoped in Dakar.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by trees » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:04 pm

evanb wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:53 pm
trees wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:44 pm
So did Delta
Delta never operated non-stop. It stoped in Dakar.
Quoted text was “U.S. to Cape Town flight.” I see in the article they specify non stop.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by evanb » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:23 pm

trees wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:04 pm
Quoted text was “U.S. to Cape Town flight.” I see in the article they specify non stop.
Yeah, I'm also partial to giving the marketing guys some slack. It's a huge investment and risk for United. Running an ultra long haul flight to a market you have little experience and sales capacity in very challenging. So I'd give the marketing guys some slack to sell it :-)
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by pwnel » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:34 pm

It's very interesting to see the buzz around this amongst SA expats in NYC. Everyone's been sharing this on various WhatsApp groups today.

Also my experience from being a very frequent SA204 flier is that the American pax on there are almost always on their way to Cape Town. You see the same faces on SA323 later in the morning.

Expecting this flight to have substantial impact on SA204/203.
Last edited by pwnel on Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by Glenn L » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:43 pm

pwnel wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:34 pm
It's very interesting to see the buzz around this amongst SA expats in NYC. Everyone's been sharing this on various WhatsApp groups today.

Also my experience from being a very frequent SA204 flier that the American pax on there are almost always on their way to Cape Town. You see the same faces on SA323 later in the morning.

Expecting this flight to have substantial impact on SA204/203.
yup, my extended family are split between CT and NY and are all excited and ready to book tickets if this route happens
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by CockpitCat » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:57 pm

Trans-oceanic flight in a twin...mmm...
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by RiNCEw1ND » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:02 pm

CockpitCat wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:57 pm
Trans-oceanic flight in a twin...mmm...
??

This happens daily?
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by CockpitCat » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:44 pm

RiNCEw1ND wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:02 pm
This happens daily?
Search AVHerald for "B788", and note the number of reports of engine issues (including shutdown) in flight... [-o<

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