Recently launched airline, Lift, will commence services on December 10 and its booking website will go live on Tuesday, November 10.
Airline founder, Gidon Novick, who is a former ceo of Comair and founder of kulula.com, told Travel News that the airline was not looking at GDS distribution for now.
“Our strategy with regard to agents is to do direct integrations as much as we can,” he said. The airline already has something in place with Travelstart and will be working on similar integrations with other agencies. In the interim, agents can book on the site on behalf of clients.
Gidon said while the airline would not be offering any standard agent commissions at the outset, it was open to incentive-based remuneration for agents that pushed volumes. “We are excited to work with agents,” said Gidon, adding that Danny Bryer, who formerly headed up sales and marketing at Marriott/Protea, would be spearheading the airline’s efforts with the trade.
The airline is a partnership between Gidon, former Uber executive, Jonathan Ayache, and Global Aviation, an aircraft leasing and charter operation.
The airline will operate up to seven direct flights daily on the Johannesburg-Cape Town and Johannesburg-George routes. “As we get closer to the peak holiday season, we will be loading more flights,” said Gidon.
He pointed out that the airline’s model, enabled through its partnership with Global Aviation, allowed it to scale up operations to meet demand and pull back during lower demand periods.
For now, the airline is not looking at other routes. “Our plan is not to be the biggest or the cheapest. Our plan is to add value,” said Gidon, highlighting the airline’s fully flexible fares.
Travellers are able to change their tickets as many times as they want and should travellers wish to cancel their tickets, they will be issued with a credit that they will have up to a year to redeem against a future flight.