Why The Airbus A320 Is Perfect For South African Startup Lift

It hasn’t even been a year since Lift took off, but the airline has already shown its ambition. The South African carrier launched in December 2020, during one of the most challenging periods in aviation amid the pandemic. Since then, the global health crisis has continued to rock airline activity, with another slump this summer. Nonetheless, the OR Tambo International-based outfit has displayed its adaptability, which has been helped by its fleet of Airbus A320s.

South African new airline LIFT Sneak Preview
Lift joined numerous other short and medium-haul operators around the world by entrusting the Airbus A320. Photo: Getty Images

An industry favorite

Lift currently has three Airbus A320-200s in its fleet, which all arrived in December last year. These units all came from Global Aviation and are also operated by the company on behalf of Lift. The carrier flies to the likes of Johannesburg, Cape Town, and George with these popular narrowbodies.

In an exclusive interview with Simple Flying, Lift CEO Jonathan Ayache explained why the plane is the right fit for his airline. The executive highlights the plane’s balance of comfort and efficiency as reasons why it excels.

“Ever since Airbus launched its single-aisle jetliner family with the A320, it has set the standard as the world’s most comfortable short-to-medium-haul aircraft – which is just one of the many reasons why it’s also the most successful aircraft of all time,” Ayache told Simple Flying.

“Incorporating a versatile cabin that can be configured for a variety of seating options, the A320 usually seats from 140 to 170 passengers and has a maximum capacity to accommodate as many as 180 travellers, which makes it agile and flexible just like our business.”

South African new airline LIFT Sneak Preview
Lift co-founder Gidon Novick (left) and CEO Jonathan Ayache (right) are in good hands with the A320. Photo: Getty Images

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Recent developments

Lift is already scaling things up with its A320s when it comes to the passenger experience. The firm recently launched LIFT Premium, which was designed in response to customer requests for a differentiated and more premium offering.

With this provision, the first three rows of the A320 have been reconfigured to offer a premium section, which Ayache explains has extra attention to detail, space, and convenience. Premium travelers can expect generous legroom, wider seating, and reclining chairs. Moreover, each middle seat has also been converted into an additional tray table. This move guarantees a window or aisle seat for optimum space and comfort.

Premium travelers will also be given unlimited flight changes, priority boarding, fast-tracked security, and priority customer support. They will also have a dedicated check-in area and lounge access.

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With over 15,000 units sold, the Airbus A320 is a workhorse across the industry, and Lift will be providing additional offerings onboard the plane from this October. Photo: Getty Images

Full faith

With the ability to reach distances of up to 6,500 km (3,500 NM), the A320-200 has more than enough range for Lift’s network. It can even allow the airline to expand across South Africa and neighboring nations.

Altogether, the Lift is fully committed to the A320. Ayache adds that his company has no plans to operate a different model or gauge of aircraft. Therefore, Lift is putting its trust in the type as the airline develops in the aviation industry.

What are your thoughts about the Airbus A320 and its deployment across the globe? Also, What do you make of Lift’s operations with the plane? Let us know what you think of the aircraft and the airline in the comment section.