In a first for a US airline, United Airlines has announced plans to fly nonstop between North America and Cape Town, South Africa, beginning in December 2019.

The carrier has applied for permission from the US Department of Transportation to launch thrice-weekly seasonal service between Newark Liberty International Airport and Cape Town International.

“This new flight will provide customers with the only nonstop service between the United States and Cape Town,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president of International Network.

The flights, which pending government approval will utilise Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft fitted with Business, Economy Plus, and Economy class seating, would trim four hours off the current transit time between the metro New York area and South Africa.

Flights will depart Newark at 2030 and arrive in Cape Town at 1800 the following day, with the return leg leaving Cape Town at 2050 local time and arriving back in to the New York area at 0545 the next day. The flights will cover a total of 7,817 miles, USA Today reports.

The seasonal service will operate from December 15 through until March, United officials said.