By Taylor Rains
Delta Returns to Johannesburg with Airbus A350
After more than a year since suspending operations to South Africa, Delta Air Lines is relaunching flights from Atlanta to Johanessburg on August 2. The carrier has served the country since December 2006 and is excited to continue its 15-year history, connecting Johannesburg with over 150 destinations across the United States.
Delta’s return to Johannesburg will fully restore its African network, which includes service to Accra, Ghana; Dakar, Senegal and Lagos, Nigeria. Johannesburg is the carrier’s longest nonstop route and will operate on its emission-reducing Airbus A350-900neo aircraft, which is configured with all four of Delta’s cabin experiences.
Delta Managing Director of Network Planning Amy Martin said, “We are excited that Delta’s restart between Johannesburg and the US is with our flagship aircraft, offering customers an enhanced on-board experience wherever they sit. As well as offering more on-board comfort combined with the great service customers can expect from Delta, the aircraft is 25% more fuel efficient than the Boeing 777 it replaces, helping reduce carbon emissions on our longest route.”
The A350-900neo is fitted with four cabin options, including Delta One Suites and Delta Premium Select. Customers can enjoy onbaord enhancements, like large seatback screens, large overhead bins, new inflight content and premium meals. Delta’s menu is crafted to offer regionals dishes, like beef stew with jollof rice, fried plantains and sautéed spinach in the Main Cabin or Peri Peri chicken in Delta One.
The resumed route will initially operate thrice-weekly with night-time departures. The afternoon arrival time in Johannesburg will allow travelers to check into their accommodations and recover from jet lag. Meanwhile, the morning arrival in Atlanta will allow for plenty of connecting flight options to onward destinations.
The nonstop flight from Johannesburg to Atlanta will strengthen Delta’s network across the United States. Customers can reach any of the airline’s 150+ US destinations with just a single stop in Atlanta, Delta’s largest hub. Meanwhile, the carrier is also invested in South Africa as a main tourist destination for US-based travelers.
Sthembiso Dlamini, acting CEO of South African Tourism, explained, “We are confident that this Delta nonstop flight will boost South Africa’s efforts to grow business and leisure tourists’ arrivals out of this market. South Africa is a country rich in history and vibrant culture and very warm people. South Africans are ready to welcome back visitors from across the world and we are definitely open for business. We look forward to many years of success on this route, as we continue to share the variety of experiences with all travellers.”
Delta’s resumed route to Johannesburg will boost the carrier’s prevalence in South Africa and continue to enhance its network domestically and abroad.
Currently, travel to the United States from South Africa is restricted to US citizens and permanent residents. Travelers from the US can travel to Johannesburg without quarantine if they have a negative covid test taken within 72 hours of travel.