South Africa

Need a Lift? SA's newest airline has a name

SA's newest airline's name was chosen from 25,000 suggestions.

SA's newest airline's name was chosen from 25,000 suggestions.
Image: 123RF/anyaberkut

SA's new airline finally has a name: Lift Airlines.

The airline is a partnership between kulula.com founder Gidon Novick and Global Aviation, a leading operator of Airbus A320 aircraft.

Novick last month called on the public to put their creativity to the test and suggest a name for the new carrier. On its website, the airline said it was looking for “unique”, “aspirational” and “cool” names.

Novick told BusinessTech on Thursday that the name was selected from more than 25,000 suggestions, including Wakanda Air, DjyRyNie and Lekker Airline, FlyMzansi, Venga Airways and Gravy Plane.

He said eight people suggested Lift, and they will share the main prize valued at R480,000.

“With a name safely strapped in, the team is now focused on its final pre-launch activities including getting the booking system up and running, crew training, aircraft preparation and marketing activities ahead of the first flight set to take to the skies in December when the new airline 'Lifts off',” he said.

TimesLIVE reported that the airline's first flight will be between Johannesburg and Cape Town, the 12th busiest route in the world.

Novick said the airline draws inspiration from Uber’s hi-tech and customer-obsessed approach to mobility. The idea came during the pandemic, which created a unique opportunity.

“Similar to the way Uber has transformed the point-to-point mobility, there is a huge opportunity for the airline industry to rethink its relationship with passengers and be more ‘customer-obsessed'.”

Novick told the aviation website Flight Line that he predicts a robust demand for domestic travel during the December holiday season and that because of the struggling regional airlines, the market desperately needed another domestic airline.

“This is the time where traditional, normal ways of thinking don’t necessarily solve the problems we are faced with and those two things have really got my mind racing towards the opportunity that I see in the airline industry,” he said.

Lift Airline's website is live and prospective passengers can sign up for flight alerts.

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