Virgin Atlantic returns to Cape Town

Photo of Richard Branson and two cabin crew on the top deck of a double decker tour bus raising flags for South Africa and the United Kingdom
Virgin Atlantic
by Vicky Longster
23 May 2022

Virgin Atlantic’s much anticipated service to Cape Town will return on 5 November 2022. Richard Branson joined the Virgin Atlantic team in South Africa to celebrate the re-launch, and took a special open-top bus tour through the city. 

The route will have more than 80,000 seats between Cape Town and London, so there are even more opportunities to grab some winter sun.

With demand for travel ever-increasing, sightseers can take full advantage of the beautiful destination more easily than ever. South Africa is known not only for its natural beauty, but also its rich culture and heritage, so there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Home to Robin Island, customers can visit the prison where Nelson Mandela was held, which is now a living museum. Some may wish to challenge their adventurous side by riding the cable cars to Table Mountain’s flat top for sweeping views of the city. Those looking for something more laid-back are at the gateway to the Cape Winelands, the country’s top region for wine tasting tours.

The new winter service will operate on a Boeing 787-9 aircraft, and will run until 24 March 2022 complementing the existing year-round daily service to Johannesburg.


During the launch celebrations, Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, said:  “South Africa is home to so much of our Virgin family, from Virgin Active to our Virgin Limited Edition getaways, Ulusaba and Mont Rochelle – it’s a pleasure to be opening this route for even more people to experience all that Cape Town has to offer. Virgin Atlantic relaunched this route in 2020 to connect people with their loved ones and allow even more people to visit this incredible country. The pandemic might have put a temporary stop to that, but our fantastic team can’t wait to welcome passengers later this year. 

“As part of our commitment to protecting this wonderful planet which we call home, Virgin Atlantic is introducing a newer, more sustainable aircraft, to this route – the Boeing 787-900 – which the team is particularly excited about. It’s one of the most-fuel efficient aircraft out there and has a reduced fuel burn compared with aircraft of a similar size.”

Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic

Liezl Gericke, Head of Africa, Middle East and India at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “We have been committed to this route since we first announced it back in February 2020 and I am thrilled that it is finally taking to the skies!

“This service will make it even easier for our customers to travel for business and leisure between South Africa and the United Kingdom as well as providing seamless connections via Heathrow to Europe and North America. The service will also create additional cargo capacity for the route, transporting essential goods between South Africa and the UK and beyond.“

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