A United Airlines aircraft comes in to land at Heathrow in west London on October 25 2016. Picture: Reuters
A United Airlines aircraft comes in to land at Heathrow in west London on October 25 2016. Picture: Reuters

Chicago-based United Airlines plans to operate three direct flights a week between New York and Cape Town.

The airline said it had applied to the US Department of Transportation for permission to launch the service.

“United plans to operate nonstop three-times weekly flights to Cape Town starting in December 2019,” it said.

“We’re thrilled to announce the addition of Africa to our global route offering,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s international network vice-president. “This new flight will provide customers with the only nonstop service between the United States and Cape Town.”

The service would decrease the current travel time from New York to Cape Town by more than four hours, United said. It would also provide customers from more than 80 US cities with easy one-stop access to Cape Town.

The service would be operated with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za