South Africa’s newest airline will be taking off very soon, and to build anticipation, the carrier has been slowly giving us a glimpse of what its aircraft and branding will look like. Video posted to both Instagram and LinkedIn in the past day show a timelapse of one of its aircraft getting painted in the airline’s livery. At the crossroads of simple, fun, and elegant, the low-cost start-up’s Airbus A320 fleet will be well-dressed to fly passengers around South Africa.
The new livery
The aircraft’s new livery was, in part, chosen by the public. Posted to Instagram three weeks ago, Lift gave its prospective and future customers a choice in whether its aircraft should take on a yellow-on-black scheme or a black-on-yellow look.
Well, apparently, the public has opted to go for the yellow-on-black livery as the airline posted a video to social media of one of its aircraft getting painted. The video from LinkedIn has been embedded below:
“We were overwhelmed by the public response to naming our airline. We’d like to continue including the public in decisions around other components of the brand,” said Gidon Novick, co-founder of Lift via IOL
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About South Africa’s newest carrier
Recent reports peg the airline’s launch date as December 10th. The carrier will first start with two routes, flying from Johannesburg to Cape Town as well as Johannesburg to George, just in time for the holiday season.
IOL notes that the carrier will begin with three Airbus A320s, while data from Planespotters.net shows that just one has been registered with the airline at the time of publishing this article. That A320 is registered as ZS-GAO, a 31.4-year-old aircraft configured to be all-economy with 174 seats. What has to be one of the oldest A320s still flying, the aircraft was actually first ordered by closed US carrier Braniff. It went on to fly with America West Airlines and US Airways.
Sources also note that the airline is a partnership with South African outfit Global Airways, an operator of Airbus A320 aircraft. Global Airways is a leasing firm that focuses on ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance) operations, better known as ‘wet leasing .’ As such, it looks like Global Airways will actually be doing a lot of the work while ‘Lift’ is the face of the airline.
One of Lift’s big marketing points is its flexible travel policy. Indeed, on the airline’s currently-bare-website, one of the few pages is dedicated to booking flexibility.
“Many travelers 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 explained.
This is what the airline is offering in terms of booking changes and cancelations:
Passengers can make changes up until 24 hours before your original flight departs.
If there’s an increased difference in fare between the original booking and the new one‚ passengers will simply pay in.
If there’s a decreased difference in fares‚ they’ll credit your Lift Wallet (More on that‚ later.)
Travelers can cancel their booking on the website without forfeiting either their flight and its fares.
Cancelation can happen up until 24 hours before departure with zero penalties. The airline will credit the passenger’s Lift wallet for future travel.
As we have noted with all start-ups this year, it seems a little crazy to launch an airline in 2020. But we know that most plans started well before the global crisis began, and the timing is just unfortunate. We’ll have to see how the South African public responds to Lift! In the meantime, we’ll wish them all the best!
What are your thoughts on this new South African airline? Let us know in the comments.