Virgin Atlantic has announced the return of its London Heathrow to Cape Town service from November 5, 2022 with a new daily service.  

The London-based carrier will operate its Boeing 787-9 fleet on a daily frequency between London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Cape Town International Airport (CPT). Flight VS478 will service its LHR-CPT route while flight VS479 will service its CPT-LHR route. 

The airline’s Boeing 787-9 will hold a three-class configuration of 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium and 192 Economy Delight, Classic and Light seats, Virgin Atlantic said in a press statement released via its website on May 23, 2022. 

The airline said its service to Cape Town will complement its existing year-round daily service to Johannesburg. The carrier expects to run the winter service for four months until March 2023. 

“We’re incredibly excited to return to the fabulous city of Cape Town with daily services from November,” Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic said in the airline’s statement.  

Despite a delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Jarvinen said that “the move reflects the fact that travel is recovering and global demand for holidays to sunny, premium destinations is returning at pace”.  

“We’re expecting a high proportion of leisure travelers on this route who will rightly be taking advantage of the winter sun, exploring the world-renowned wine regions and soaking up the rich culture this incredible country has to offer,” Jarvinen added.  

Cape Town, which is famous for being the home of former South African President Nelson Mandela, boasts scenic views with tourist attractions such as Table Mountain, Cape Point Nature Reserve as well as cultural attractions such as The Bo-Kaap. 

The city is a renowned tourist destination, and recently Virgin Atlantic is not the only international airline that has set its sights on services to South Africa’s capital. 

On May 18, 2022, US-carrier United Airlines announced it has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for three weekly nonstop flights between Washington, D.C. and Cape Town.  

“If approved, United's flights will become the first nonstop service ever between Washington D.C. and South Africa's legislative capital, Cape Town,” the airline said.  

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United Airlines files application with DOT to operate flights from Washington DC to Cape Town, South Africa