Wow. Did NOT see this coming.
Delta Air Lines is launching flights to Cape Town with a twist.
Last week, Delta announced it would retire its Boeing 777s by the end of the year, which includes the Boeing 777-200LR.
The 777-200LR is used on Delta’s longest route, Atlanta to Johannesburg. Because Delta is retiring the aircraft, this led many to question the future of this route as Delta’s Airbus A350s may not have the capability to fly nonstop due to the range and elevation of Johannesburg.
Now the ThePointsGuy has revealed the answer as Delta will use the A350 to launch a triangle route:
Atlanta to Johannesburg to Cape Town to Atlanta:
By departing out of Cape Town, it will reduce both the range and elevation and allow Delta to operate the flight back to Atlanta nonstop.
Passengers will be able to travel to Cape Town on Delta with a stopover in Johannesburg. However, unless the government gives approval, passengers cannot solely fly between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
From what it looks like, Delta last served Cape Town 10 years ago using a New York to Dakar to Cape Town route.
Currently, Delta plans to launch the route on October 24, 2020, subject to travel restrictions. Additionally, Delta will need to take delivery of an “enhanced” A350. Could this be the A350ULR?
All future A350 deliveries will come with the capability to operate Delta’s longer routes — abilities lacking on the airline’s first 13 A350s — Hauenstein said Wednesday without elaborating.
During this crisis, we’ve seen numerous things such as airlines launching domestic tag routes. However, this is on another level as it adds a new destination to Delta’s route map and we could potentially see Delta converting A350 orders into the A350-900ULR?
What are your thoughts on this special route?