United Airlines was expected to relaunch direct flights between New York and Cape Town in December. The airline operates a seasonal service on the route, offering direct flights between Cape Town and New York from December to March.
The cancellation of United’s flights comes after Delta Airlines delayed the restart of its flights between Atlanta and South Africa in October, citing a slow-down in passenger demand as the cause for the delay. The global slump in demand for tourism and air travel has forced both airlines to cancel flights on the route.
COVID-19 IMPACTS GLOBAL DEMAND FOR TRAVEL
Though the South African authorities now permit all international visitors to travel to South Africa — provided they comply with entry requirements and can produce a negative COVID-19 test result certificate on arrival — there still has not been sufficient demand to warrant United Airlines to restart this route.
Travel bans, border closures and compulsory quarantines are negatively affecting the ability of people to travel. In the wake of the global pandemic and restrictions which have caused havoc for the aviation and tourism sectors, many airlines have suspended their operations on certain routes until passenger volumes increase.
SEASONAL FLIGHTS BETWEEN NEW YORK AND CAPE TOWN CANCELLED
United Airlines had planned to relaunch direct flights between Cape Town and New York on 15 December. This service would have been a seasonal one, carrying passengers directly between New York and Cape Town until the end of March 2021.