Update: Virgin Atlantic has corrected the launch date from 17 November 2021 to 17 December 2021.
Virgin Atlantic has announced the relaunch of its direct flight service from London Heathrow to Cape Town International Airport, set to resume three times a week from 17 December on the Boeing 787-9.
Following the removal of South Africa from the UK red list, Virgin initially announced that flights would only resume in January 2022, however due to significant customer demand for the direct service from Heathrow to the Mother City, the airline has decided to commence sooner, it said.
“We know there’s pent up customer demand for travel to the UK and vice versa since our removal from the red list, and the reintroduction of the Cape Town route it will make it even easier for our customers to travel for business and leisure between South Africa and the United Kingdom,” said Liezl Gericke, head of Africa, Middle East and India.
Returning airlines also offer the added benefits of belly freight cargo, meaning that the impact will reach beyond tourism and impact positively into a variety of sectors.
“Our international passenger volumes continue to grow and new airlines offer travellers a wider range of travel options. We remain ready to welcome new and returning passengers to our airport and to our beautiful city, while we continue to focus on health protocols,” said Mark Maclean, Cape Town International Airport’s acting GM.
Flights from Cape Town go on sale from 16 October and Virgin Atlantic said it is offering unlimited free date and flight changes for new bookings to give further flexibility to customers and support their future travel plans.
The rebooking horizon has also been extended for all customers until 30 April 2023, giving a broader window of time to reschedule plans if needed.