Virgin Atlantic has announced that it will be offering direct flights between London Heathrow and Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) as a seasonal service, as of 25 October 2020.

Liezl Gericke, Head of Africa, Middle East and India, at Virgin Atlantic commented: “I am thrilled of the reintroduction of this popular route; it will make it even easier for our customers to travel for business and leisure between South Africa and the United Kingdom – as well as creating additional cargo capacity for the route. The daily service will not only enhance a vital link between Cape Town and the UK’s capital, but it also provides seamless connections via Heathrow to Europe and North America.”

“The UK is the top market for Cape Town and the Western Cape, in terms of both trade and travel, so this addition to the Cape Town air route network will only serve to strengthen business and tourism between the regions.”

Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro, said, “A warm welcome back to Virgin Atlantic and its connection to London Heathrow. The UK is the top market for Cape Town and the Western Cape, in terms of both trade and travel, so this addition to the Cape Town air route network will only serve to strengthen business and tourism between the regions. ”

The new Virgin Atlantic flight will operate on a Boeing 787-9 aircraft. The Heathrow to CTIA flight (VS478) will depart at 16:20 and arrive at 05:55 the following morning, while the return flight (VS479) will depart at 08:00 landing at 18:00 later that day. Sales will open on 18 February 2020, with return economy fare starting at £713 per person (R13,871).

At the end of last year, United Airlines launched its first service from South Africa – a nonstop flight between CTIA and New York/Newark. This and the Virgin Atlantic flight bring the total of new routes to CTIA to 17 since 2015 – thanks to the efforts of Cape Town Air Access, a collaborative partnership between the private and public sectors.

The project has also facilitated 22 route expansions, and its efforts have helped the CTIA reach its 11 million passenger per year target for the first time.

Cover image supplied by Virgin Atlantic.