June 05, 2021: United Airlines flew its inaugural nonstop daily service today between New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg.

"We are excited to inaugurate our new service between New York/Newark and Johannesburg, which further expands our Africa route network and provides our customers from South Africa with even greater travel choices via our New York/Newark hub to as many as 80 U.S. destinations this year," said Patrick Quayle, United's vice president of International Network and Alliances.

The new service is operated with state-of-the-art B787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Together with the airline's seasonal, three-times weekly service between Cape Town and New York/Newark, United will offer more nonstop services from South Africa than any other US airline and is the only airline providing a daily nonstop service between Johannesburg and New York.

A special (grey) water salute marked the arrival of United flight from New York/Newark, with Nompumelelo (Mpumi) Z. Mpofu, CEO Airports Company South Africa; Todd Haskell, Charg d'Affaires US Mission to South Africa; and Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, South Africa minister of tourism welcoming the first arriving United customers at O.R. Tambo International Airport.

"The inauguration of daily flights by United Airlines is a vote of confidence in South Africa as a safe destination for business and leisure tourism, but also in the health and safety protocols we apply to ensure that air travel to, from and within South Africa remains safe and does not promote the spread of Covid-19 internationally. As Africa's largest airport operator, we are acutely aware of the social and economic impact that the pandemic and travel restrictions have caused. The opening of this new long-haul route is a major milestone on South Africa's and the region's road to recovery," said Mpumi Mpofu.

"United Airlines' launch of daily service between Newark and Johannesburg shows the confidence and connection that binds our two countries. This flight builds a bridge between the United States and South Africa that will open doors for greater trade and investment and inject millions of dollars into South Africa's tourism economy. We are proud to open this new chapter in our relationship," said Haskell.

"We are excited to welcome United Airlines as it will definitely boost South Africa's efforts to continue to grow business and leisure tourists' arrivals out of North America. South Africa is ready to welcome back visitors from across the world and is certainly open for business. We look forward to many years of success on this route, as we continue to satisfy the needs of our travellers," said Kubayi-Ngubane.

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