Virgin Atlantic set to relaunch service to Cape Town

Feb 12, 2020

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Virgin Atlantic is set to expand its reach in Africa. On Wednesday, the U.K.-based airline announced that it was returning to Cape Town, South Africa.

As of Oct. 25, 2020, the carrier will operate daily service to Cape Town International Airport (CPT) from London Heathrow (LHR). The carrier will use one of its Boeing 787-9 aircraft to operate the route.


Once the route launches, it will operate on the following daily schedule:

  • VS478 London Heathrow (LHR) 4:20 p.m. Departure ⇒ Cape Town (CPT) 5:55 a.m. (+1) Arrival
  • VS479 Cape Town (CPT) 8 a.m. Departure ⇒ London Heathrow (LHR) 6 p.m. Arrival

The Cape Town relaunch complements Virgin Atlantic’s existing route between London Heathrow and Johannesburg (JNB). On that route, the airline utilizes one of its new Airbus A350 aircraft, which feature the new Upper Class Suite.

“We’re delighted to be flying to Cape Town again, and we’re expecting a high proportion of leisure travellers on this route, taking advantage of the winter sun, the safaris and of course, the world-famous wine region,” Virgin’s Chief Commercial Officer Juha Jarvinen said in a statement.

Virgin’s 789, which it will use on this route, feature a three-class configuration: Upper Class, premium economy and economy.

Tickets for the new Cape Town route will go on sale on Feb. 18. Return economy fares are set to start from £713 (about $924) per person.

Virgin previously operated nonstop service to the popular holiday destination of Cape Town. It launched the service in 1999, however, in 2014, the carrier announced it would be discontinuing the route, as it found it to be unprofitable.

During that time, Virgin said it was placing an emphasis on its routes to America. However, since then, the carrier has expanded drastically outside the U.S. as well. Recently, it’s launched flights to Sao Paulo (GRU), Mumbai (BOM) and now Cape Town (CPT).

Featured photo by Johannes Mann/Getty Images.

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