South Africans helped to choose Lift’s look and its planes will take to the skies on Thursday 10 December.
Lift is South Africa’s newest airline and it promises to be a low-cost carrier unlike any other. For instance, it will be the first domestic airline in the low-cost sector to offer flexibility on its tickets.
For instance, there is a 50% discount on tickets book until 16 December for children under the age of 12.
Gidon Novick, who started Comair’s hugely successful low-cost carrier, Kulula, is heading the new airline.
Novick believes now is the perfect time to start a new airline as it is possible to negotiate favourable leases for aircraft, while the cost of fuel has also dropped significantly in 2020. He said there was also a pool of talented aviation personnel available for new opportunities at this time.
Lift has involved customers in various stages of its development. It held a competition calling for suggestions for the airline’s name, and offered the winner free flights for a year if their name was chosen. The response was huge, with more than 25,000 proposed names. Lift was selected as the name for the new carrier.
The public was also asked to help choose the design which Lift’s aircraft would sport while flying passengers around South Africa. The airline revealed the options on Instagram three weeks ago and invited the public to vote for their preferred design in an online poll.
In an effort to build excitement and anticipation for its first flights, Lift took to Instagram and LinkedIn to give the public a glimpse of the new planes will look like.
The public voted in favour of a yellow motif on a black background for Lift’s aircraft livery. The design chosen by the public is simple and elegant, but fun. It aligns with the image the airline wants to project as a new budget carrier entering the South African aviation landscape.
Lift will operate scheduled domestic flights, starting with only two routes. It will offer return flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town, and Johannesburg and George. The airline aims to expand its route network when demand increases.
When Lift takes to the skies on Thursday 10 December, it will operate a fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft. Initially, the fleet will consist of three planes but this will change when Lift expands its route network and increases the frequency of its flights.
One of the most distinguishing factors between Lift and its competitors is the flexibility Lift intends to offer its passengers. Novick believes the airline’s flexible travel policy is vital in light of the very abnormal times brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Many travellers are seeking value when they book a flight. They want the freedom to change or cancel their flights should circumstances change.
“So, instead of cutting the prices, despite our prices remaining competitive, we are offering this added value service to our passengers,” Novick said.