South Africa’s new airline is ready to fly – will start taking bookings this week

New native airline Lift will open its web site for bookings on Tuesday (10 November) because it prepares to formally start operations on 10 December.

Founder Gidon Novick informed the Sunday Times that the airline plans to provide flexibility to clients, in addition to aggressive pricing.

“Anyone who travels with us will have a fully flexible ticket and will be able to change their flight as many times as they want to without fees. Our hypothesis is that with that in mind, people will become more comfortable to book, and less anxious about travelling,” he stated.

However, Novick stated that the airline doesn’t plan to undercut rivals or start a race to the underside: “We will focus our efforts on adding value, not cutting prices. We want to redefine the customer journey from start to finish,” he stated.

Novick stated that clients’ funds will be stored in a separate construction till after the flights are flown — to keep away from them dropping money within the occasion the airline goes bust. This is a departure from business norms globally, he stated.

“It’s our basic belief that customers should not fund airlines and neither should governments,” he stated. “No rational argument has been put forward that gives anybody confidence that it is necessary to put money into SAA that should have been invested in social projects and health care.”

Launching in a pandemic

The new airline is a partnership between established operator Global Aviation, Novick, and former Uber government Jonathan Ayache. A bunch of extremely skilled business specialists have additionally joined the staff.

Lift will have a low fixed-cost base and no debt, and a versatile staffing and resourcing construction.

It will use Global’s present infrastructure, plane, upkeep amenities, cabin crew and pilots and its central flight management facility, leveraging off Global’s lengthy expertise in offering full-service leasing for bespoke charters or to different airways (Comair included) after they wanted backup planes.

Lift will initially function three plane which will fly up to seven return flights a day on the Cape Town and George routes.

Novick has beforehand stated that he is upbeat concerning the alternative which the pandemic brings to re-look at conventional enterprise fashions and discover how issues will be accomplished in a different way.

He stated the pandemic has created the prospect of affordably buying the important thing inputs to start an airline – plane, amenities, and expert staff. A key focus for Novick is on effectivity and chopping prices, which embrace leasing plane at dramatically diminished charges.

He added that there are high-quality upkeep amenities obtainable that are far cheaper than what they had been just a few months in the past. Through expertise he discovered that airways get much less environment friendly the bigger they get, so beginning off small provides a new airline an enormous benefit.

Another focus for Novick is flexibility. “With the market uncertainty, a flexible model which can adjust to market demand is critical,” he stated.

He informed MyBroadband expertise will play an important position to improve effectivity. “Technology has the ability to facilitate a seamless, efficient, and engaging relationship with our future customers,” Novick stated.

Read: Gordhan says analysts ‘lack insight and financial literacy’ over SAA bailout


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