As a mark of a collaborative effort between United Airlines and Cape Town Air Access, Cape Town and the Western Cape will be the only destination represented at the annual United Airlines Global Sales Conference in Anaheim, on 17 June 2019 to help promote the Newark/New York – Cape Town route.
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris said: “Cape Town Air Access and Wesgro will be joined by South African Tourism in promoting the Cape to over 750 conference delegates in attendance. This collaborative promotion of the direct flight to Cape Town will be further extended through meetings with US tour operators over the two days following the conference.”
On 15 April 2019, Cape Town Air Access welcomed United Airline’s announcement of the upcoming, nonstop New York/Newark – Cape Town route. This direct flight, commencing from 15 December 2019 out of Newark Liberty International Airport, marks a long-awaited return to Africa for United.
This route will provide a significant boost to the Cape economy. Western Cape Minister for Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier said: “The New York/Newark – Cape Town route is a game-changer for the Western Cape. In addition to the increase in tourism revenue, through thousands of additional travellers, it is also estimated that the new route will help increase trade between the Cape and the USA, with cargo capacity on the route contributing R94 million in potential trade. This means that we will also be growing exports, and attracting investment. This aligns with our key strategic focus of growing the economy and creating jobs across the province.”
Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management concurred: “According to a study conducted by Grant Thornton, a direct flight to North America would add an estimated 24 000 passengers, which would add R283 million to the Cape economy. This would be provide a major boost to Cape Town in particular, creating jobs and helping grow the economy. We therefore welcome this trip by the Cape Town Air Access team and wish them success."
South African Tourism Hub Head: North America, Jerry Mpufane added, "from a South African Tourism perspective, the conference presents another opportunity to cement South Africa’s reputation as a world class tourist destination. The North American market remains a key source market for South Africa and we are confident that the United Airlines flight to Cape Town will be a success. With 6 months to go before the inaugural United Airlines flight, we will look forward to working more closely with United Airlines as well as our partners Wesgro and Cape Town Air Access to ensure that the route becomes a successful one."
Cape Town Air Access is a collaborative, award-winning project, and the focal point for proactive international air route development in Cape Town and the Western Cape with support from the public and private sectors, including: Airports Company South Africa, the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Government, South African Tourism, Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro.
Since its commencement in July 2015, Air Access has assisted Cape Town International Airport in establishing 15 new routes - including the new Newark - Cape Town route that will be operated by United Airlines - and expanding 19 existing routes. During this period, more than 800,000 inbound seats were added to the network, doubling international seat capacity at the airport and adding an estimated R6 billion in direct tourism spending to the economy.