By: Ann Ruppenstein
United Airlines is launching nonstop service between Newark, New York and Johannesburg, South Africa as of June 3. For the Canadian market, travellers are able to connect via Star Alliance partners.
“We at United are incredibly excited to be adding new daily nonstop flights between Newark, New York and Johannesburg. This route is in addition to the existing seasonal three-times-weekly service that we currently have between Newark and Cape Town,” said Irene Bar-Am, a sales manager with United Airlines, noting the tentative date for the latter route is Oct. 31. “With these two routes, United will now operate more flights to South Africa than any other US carrier.”
The Newark to Johannesburg flight is serviced by United’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft with 48 all aisle access United Polaris business class seats, plus 21 Premium Plus seats. The flight is 15 hours, departing Newark at 8:45 pm EST.
“As the world starts to reopen, we’re starting to see an uptick in international travel every day,” Bar-Am said, pointing out that United also has flexible cancellation policies to help protect travellers.
At a joint trade event ahead of the launch, Jerry Mpufane, the President of South African Tourism, North America, also shared the destination’s excitement as restrictions begin to lift and the business of tourism slowly takes off again.
“[Our goal is to get the North American traveller] to see South Africa as a safe, open and ready destination that’s waiting with a variety of experiences, affordable luxury and a warm Rainbow Nation welcome when they’re ready to travel,” he said. “Who is our traveller? Highly social and open-minded. Their enthusiasm for life extends to their outlook on travel. They’re experimental and adventurous.”
Upon entry, travellers must currently show a negative PCR test (processed within 72 hours of arrival), whether or not they are vaccinated.
“I need a vacation is no longer a plea for rest and relaxation, it has become a demand to re-awaken. People feel like they’ve been tied to their bedrooms, to their home office and they’re wanting to re-awaken their spirits and feel alive again. And we believe our destination is right for those people,” he added.
Mpufane also highlighted some of the must-do experiences that await in Johannesburg, including exploring Maboneng art precinct, bungee jumping from the Orlando Towers, visiting Nirox Sculpture Park and embarking on Lebo’s Soweto Bicycle Tour with stops at Vilakazi Street to see Nelson Mandela’s house and the Hector Pieterson museum.
More information on entry requirements is available here.