Aviation News

Virgin Atlantic to restart Cape Town service

Virgin Atlantic has announced that it will resume flying to Cape Town in South Africa in November 2022.

Cape Town restart

Starting 5th November 2022, Virgin Atlantic will once again operate daily flights between London Heathrow Airport and Cape Town International Airport with the following schedule (Note that the flight on 5th November will run with a different schedule):

  • London-Cape Town
  • Departure time: 16:20 (18:40 – only on 5th November)
  • Arrival time: 06:00 (the next day) (08:20 – only for flight departing on 5th November)
  • Flight time: 11 hours and 40 minutes
  • Flight number: VS478
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Cape Town-London
  • Departure time: 07:50 (10:10 – only on 5th November)
  • Arrival time: 17:45 (20:05 – only for flight departing on 5th November)
  • Flight time: 11 hours and 55 minutes
  • Flight number: VS479
  • Frequency: Daily

These flights will be operated by Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing B787-9 aircraft featuring 31 lie-flat Upper Class seats (Business Class seats), 35 Premium Economy Class seats and 198 standard Economy Class seats.

The new winter service runs until 24th March 2023 and will complement the existing year-round daily service to Johannesburg.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic, said:

We’re incredibly excited to return to the fabulous city of Cape Town with daily services from November. Although a little later than we we’d have liked due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the move reflects the fact that travel is recovering and global demand for holidays to sunny, premium destinations is returning at pace. We’re expecting a high proportion of leisure travellers on this route who will rightly be taking advantage of the winter sun, exploring the world-renowned wine regions and soaking up the rich culture this incredible country has to offer.

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.

Liezl Gericke, Head of Africa, Middle East and India at Virgin Atlantic, said:

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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About Cape Town

Known not only for its natural beauty, but rich culture and heritage too, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Cape Town.

Home to Robben Island, one 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.


As is the case with many routes out of London Heathrow, Virgin Atlantic will face a stiff competition from British Airways. British Airways currently operates a single daily flight between London and Cape Town. However, from 30th October 2022, just before Virgin Atlantic relaunches Cape Town service, British Airways will go double daily on this route, providing some stiff competition to Virgin Atlantic.

Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic will tomorrow (25th May 2022) begin flying between London and Austin, Texas in the United States.

Featured image by Facebook/Virgin Atlantic

What do you think of Virgin Atlantic restarting flights to Cape Town? Let me know in the comments section below.

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