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  • A new airline – owned by the founder of kulula.com and a local airline leasing company – finally has a name: Lift. 
  • A competition was launched to name the airline, and more than 25,000 suggestions were received.
  • The new airline expects to start flying in December.
  • For more articles, go to www.businessinsider.co.za.

South Africa’s newest airline has a name: Lift.

The airline is a joint venture between local aircraft leasing company Global Aviation and kulula.com founder Gidon Novick. Global Aviation has been doing business in SA for almost two decades, and also does charter flights.

The company launched a competition to find a name, and received more than 25.000 suggestions, MyBroadband reports.

There has been no shortage of names suggested on social media, with some of the more left-field suggestions including Wakanda Air, DjyRyNie and Lekker Airlines.

READ| Jerusalema Air? New SA airline offers free flights for a winning name - here are proposals so far

"The opportunity is to start fresh and unencumbered and to leverage off record low input costs and an abundance of talented and skilled people. The airline is targeting a cost base that is 30% lower than existing operators utilising an all Airbus A320 fleet," Novick told Fin24. The first flight, between Johannesburg and Cape Town, is planned for December 2020.

Lift’s website was launched this week, and prospective passengers can already sign up for flight alerts.

The branding on Lift.co.za.

The new airline is entering a crippled industry. Comair – which owns kulula and manages British Airways in SA – is in business rescue and grounded.

After receiving a government cash injection in this week’s medium-term budget, SAA is only expected to take to the skies next year after breaking out of business rescue.

SAA-owned Mango, which still flies locally, was recently under threat of being grounded  after SAA Technical, which does its maintenance, said it won’t supply these services anymore – unless its unpaid bills are settled.

FlySafair, which does its own maintenance, is the only airline that isn’t under imminent threat – although the pandemic and lockdown have decimated the demand for flights.

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