After scheduling it, then scrapping it, then making it a triangle flight via Johannesburg, then scrapping it again, Delta Air Lines has once again announced its intention to serve Cape Town, South Africa.
Delta Air Lines Plans Cape Town Service (Again)
Delta has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation to fly the route three times weekly starting on November 18, 2022 from Atlanta (ATL). Flights would operate nonstop according to the following schedule:
- Depart Atlanta (ATL) – 8:45PM, Arrive Cape Town (CPT) – 6:45PM+1 day
- Depart Cape Town (CPT) – 9:00PM, Arrive Atlanta (ATL) – 6:25PM+1 day
Last year, Delta has requested “triangle” service which included a nonstop flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg (JNB), but a stop in Cape Town on the return over concerns that the Airbus A350-900 would be unable to return nonstop from Johannesburg with a full payload. The lower altitude and shorter distance between Cape Town and Atlanta made the longhaul route more commercially feasible.
But the South African government did not grant permission to Delta to operate the run, stating that the “domestic” flight within South Africa, even if Delta was not allowed to transport passengers exclusively between Johannesburg and Cape Town, was not permitted.
Delta is pushing ahead with the route once again on a nonstop basis, while “still seeking approval of a triangular, Atlanta-Johannesburg-Cape Town-Atlanta, routing from the South Africa Department of Transport to offer flexibility to the currently operating Atlanta-Johannesburg-Atlanta flights.” The Cape Town flight will not replace the Johannesburg flight.
The announcement likely comes as no coincidence to United’s recent announcement that it would make its Cape Town service year-round starting on June 5, 2022. United and Delta see similar market data, which projects pent-up demand for travel to South Africa after two years of pandemic and an omicron variant that hit South Africa travel particularly hard. The United flight will also operate three times weekly.
> Read More:
- Delta’s New Triangle Route To Cape Town Puts Heat On United
- South Africa Blocks Delta Air Lines From Flying To Cape Town
- United Airlines Makes Cape Town Route Year-Round
Delta wants in on the Cape Town action, hoping to charge a premium in exchange for the time savings versus connecting in Europe. While its new route is subject to government approval, the additional nonstop flights between Atlanta and Cape Town should not face regulatory hurdles.