Direct US flight good news for Cape Town
Americans are a sizeable and growing market of travellers to SA‚ and the announcement of a nonstop flight between Cape Town and the US is set to boost this tourism.
United Airlines intends launching a new route from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey to the Mother City.
The airport is about 30km from Manhattan and is one of four major airports serving the New York City-Philadelphia area.
If approved by the US transportation department‚ United’s service between Newark-New York and Cape Town would be operated with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
“This will link the Cape to the important North American market,” the provincial government and Cape Town Air Access said in a statement.
“It will not only boost tourism‚ but grow cargo and attract even more foreign direct investment into the Western Cape from US companies.”
Western Cape promotion agency Wesgro’s CEO, Tim Harris, said: “North America was one of the largest unserved markets for Cape Town and the Western Cape‚ with the US ranked the third-largest market for inbound passengers to Cape Town International Airport in 2017.”
According to a study conducted by Grant Thornton‚ a direct flight to North America would add an estimated 24‚000 passengers a year‚ which was 20% of the 2018 market.
This would add an estimated R283m in direct tourism spending to the Cape economy in the first year‚ set to increase to R425m by 2021.
The flight would also see an increase in direct and indirect imports into the province‚ with cargo capacity contributing about R94m in potential trade.
It would also contribute an estimated R286m to the gross geographic product and R144m in direct gross value add to the Cape economy
Western Cape economic opportunities minister Beverley Schafer said: “The direct flight will drive growth in the tourism and business sectors‚ creating jobs and boosting business tourism.” –