United Airlines announced Thursday new direct flights between Washington Dulles Airport and Cape Town, after receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Now, the Chicago-based airline company becomes the first US carrier to provide nonstop roundtrip service from Washington Dulles International Airport to South Africa’s legislative capital.

The airline will operate three weekly direct flights, which will start on November 17, 2022. According to United Airlines, tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online or through the company’s app. 

United started seasonal service from New York/Newark to Cape Town in 2019 and expanded to year-round service in 2022. 

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Alistair Berg

“We are thrilled to further expand our Africa offering with this first-ever direct link between Washington DC and Cape Town,” Patrick Quayle, United’s Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances, said in a press release. “These new flights build upon our existing year-round New York/Newark to Cape Town service – together they’ll provide a near-daily pattern from the U.S. to Cape Town along with connectivity to the broader region through our Airlink partnership,” he added. 

United stated that these new flights will connect Cape Town to 55 U.S. cities, representing more than 92% of the U.S. travel demand. The new flights will also allow customers to connect in Cape Town to other points in South Africa, and other countries in the southern region of the African continent with United’s South African-based partner Airlink and their Cape Town hub. 

United vs Delta

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s approval ended the dispute between United and Delta over offering non-stop flights to Cape Town, South Africa. As Travel Noire reported in May, United proposed non-stop flights to Cape Town from Washington DC. United will soon offer a total of 19 weekly flights to Africa – in addition to these new flights to Cape Town, the airline launched nonstop flights from New York/Newark to Johannesburg and Washington D.C. to Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria in 2021.