Virgin reinstates Cape Town to London flights after five-year hiatus

Virgin Atlantic's new London to Cape Town flights will use a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
Virgin Atlantic's new London to Cape Town flights will use a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
Image: Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic is launching a daily London to Cape Town service.

The airline's chief commercial officer, Juha Jarvinen, said on Wednesday that the service would start on October 25 and use a 264-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

An announcement on Virgin Atlantic's website said the new route would complement the airline's Airbus A350 daily flights between Heathrow and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

“The VS478 will operate as a night flight, departing Heathrow at 4.20pm, arriving into Cape Town at 5.55am, whereas the inbound, the VS479, will depart at 8am, landing later that day at 6pm,” it said.

The website said return economy fares would start at £713 (about R13,690) and bookings would open on February 18.

“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,” said Jarvinen.

Virgin scrapped its direct London to Cape Town flights in April 2015, saying it wanted to focus on key markets in the UK and US. It operated the route for two years.


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