Newark Airport to get North America’s first non-stop flight to Cape Town

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Newark Liberty International Airport will be the home of the first non-stop flight from North America to Cape Town, South Africa, and will use United Airlines newest airliner, starting in December.

The airline applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation for authority to begin new service

Currently, there are no direct flights from North or South America to Cape Town, United Airlines officials said.

“Now, travelers have to connect by Europe or Johannesburg. … (This) saves eight-hours round trip,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president of international network. “They get a day back.”

Newark Airport was selected because the metropolitan region has the largest market of U.S. to Cape Town travelers living here, he said. United officials anticipate the direct flight will draw travelers from across the country, he said.

Customers are expected to be a mix of business and “premium leisure” travelers, he said.

Flights will be offered three times a week from Newark on Dec. 15 and will use United’s new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner airliner, which has “next generation,” fuel efficient engines and is made from carbon fiber, Quayle said. It is United’s first 787-9 to fly in the New York market, he said.

The aircraft’s fuel efficiency makes the non-stop flight possible, he said.

“It’s brand new and features a lot of amenities,” Quayle said.

Larry Higgs may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @commutinglarry. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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