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South African Tourism Welcomes United’s Nonstop Service to Johannesburg

June 3 saw South African Tourism (SAT) and United Airlines celebrating the airline’s launch of new daily nonstop service between New York/Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg (JNB). The new flight will depart Newark daily at 8:45 p.m. and arrive in South Africa at 5:45 p.m. the following day. With the addition of this new route, United now operates more flights to South Africa than any other U.S. carrier.

Yesterday’s gate event, held at Newark Liberty Airport, included a performance of the time-honored Indlamu dance by Zulu dancers who donned full traditional attire and were accompanied by live drums. Special guests in attendance at the ceremony included Dr. Motumisi Tawana, Consul General of South Africa; Jerry Mpufane President, South African Tourism North America Hub; and Tom Kozlowski, International Network Planning Manager, United Airlines.


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“We promised our travelers that South Africa would be waiting for them once travel could safely resume and in partnership with United Airlines, we are not only delivering on that promise, but we are making the journey to South Africa easier and more accessible than ever before,” said Mpufane. “South Africa is a vibrant destination with astounding diversity. With her buzzing cities, natural space for outdoor experiences, rich cultures and histories to learn and uncover, we are confident she will exceed visitors’ wildest imagination and deliver unforgettable memories.”

The new Newark-Johannesburg flights will operate aboard a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which features 48 United Polaris business class, 88 United Economy Plus and 116 United Economy seats.

South Africa reopened for tourism back in November 2020 with the requirement that international travelers provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to their arrival. Among the elevated health and safety protocols that remain in place is the mandate that both locals and visitors wear masks while occupying public spaces.

Zulu dancers performing during the launch event for United Airlines' new Newark-Johannesburg route.
Zulu dancers performing during the launch event for United Airlines’ new Newark-Johannesburg route. (photo courtesy of South African Tourism)

South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg, is likewise one of the nation’s major cultural hubs and home to numerous landmarks, plus prominent institutions, museums, theatres, galleries and libraries. It’s also an excellent jumping-off point for exploring the rest of the country’s varied, vibrant landscape—ranging from lush coastlines to grassy plains, mountains and deserts. South Africa’s bustling provinces offer ample opportunities to explore the region’s unique history and culture, see local wildlife and enjoy world-class accommodations and culinary experiences along the way.

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