Delta Airlines has announced it will make its return to South Africa with a nonstop service between Atlanta and Johannesburg beginning Aug. 1. It surely looks like the airline is ditching its plans to fly a “triangular” route from Atlanta to Johannesburg to Cape Town to Atlanta, but will however use its local interline partners to provide convenient connections to Cape Town.
The return of the airline’s longest nonstop flight marks the milestone of Delta restoring services to all its pre-COVID African market, which include Accra, Ghana; Dakar, Senegal; and Lagos, Nigeria more than a year after pausing flights due to COVID-19.
“Delta has proudly served South Africa for more than 15 years, and we’re thrilled to return to a market so highly sought after by tourists,” said Joe Esposito, S.V.P. – Network Planning. “Two-thirds of Americans report making summer travel plans, and with demand growing rapidly alongside U.S. vaccination rates, we’re bringing back more flights and destinations to deliver on their anticipation to get back out in the world and reclaim the joy of travel.”
Delta will deploy its Airbus A350-900 on this route marking the debut of one of Delta’s newest aircraft in its fleet between the U.S. and South Africa. The aircraft features the award-winning Delta One Suites and Delta Premium Select cabins, large seat-back entertainment screens and high-capacity overhead bins, among other enhancements.
The flight schedule for the service to Johannesburg will operate from Atlanta on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays with flight DL200 departing at 7:00pm and arriving in Johannesburg at 4:30pm next day. Return flight DL201 will operate on Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays departing Johannesburg at 10:55pm and arriving Atlanta at 9:15 am next day.
Delta currently operates nearly 20 weekly flights to its African markets, including daily service between Atlanta and Lagos with plans to resume four-times-weekly service to Lagos from New York JFK Airport from July 8. The airline also serves flights between New York-JFK and Accra, and five-times-a-week service between JFK and Dakar.
By Victor Shalton Odhiambo