United applies for first-ever nonstop flights from DC to Cape Town

United Airlines has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation to start the first nonstops to Cape Town from Dulles International Airport. If approved, the flights could start Nov. 17.

The D.C. region has the fifth-largest South African-born population, according to United, citing 2019 U.S. census data.

Dulles is one of United’s hub airports as well, meaning nonstop service to Cape Town would connect 55 U.S. cities to the route, or what United said is more than 90% of U.S. travel demand for Cape Town.

United is the largest carrier operating at Dulles, with more than 230 daily flights to nearly 100 destinations around the world.

“If awarded by the DOT, this historic nonstop service will significantly enhance travel options for consumers, strengthen ties between our countries legislative and diplomatic epicenters, and benefit thriving travel and tourism industries service our respective countries,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s Senior Vice President of International Network and Alliances.

United already operates nonstop service from Newark International to Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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