Virgin Atlantic hikes South Africa winter capacity

Virgin Atlantic is raising capacity to South Africa and bringing forward the return of flights to Cape Town.

The move follows a claimed 150% rise in bookings to the country in 24 hours following the country’s removal from the government’s travel red list.

Frequency from Heathrow to Johannesburg will increase from three times a week to a daily service from November 8.

The relaunch of the airline’s Heathrow-Cape Town service will now restart on December 17 instead of January 3, flying three times a week following a surge in demand.

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, with 31 Upper Class, 35 premium and 192 economy seats, will operate the South African services.

Sales are open to Johannesburg with fares starting at £478 return and Cape Town form October 16 starting at £578 return.

A flexible rebooking has been extended until April 30, 2023 to allow passengers to reschedule plans if needed.

Chief commercial officer Juha Jarvinen said: “We know there’s pent up customer demand for travel to South Africa, which is reflected in our recent bookings surge, so I’m thrilled we can offer our customers more services to both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

“We’re expecting a high proportion of leisure travellers on these routes, taking advantage of the winter sun, the safaris and of course, the world-famous wine region.

“We can’t wait to fly our customers safely to their South African adventures once more.”

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