MIAMI – Lift Airlines (LTA), a brand new South African low cost carrier (LCC), is set to take flight for the first time on December 10, connecting Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) and Cape Town International Airport (CPT).

The airline, a joint venture between Global Aviation (GE), former Comair (MN) executive Gidon Novick, and former Uber executive Jonathon Ayache, took the name “Lift” from a list of 25,000 names submitted in a competition for a year of free travel on the airline.

A December launch with the Airbus A320-200s from GE under an existing Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and Air Maintenance Organization (AMO) from GE should ensure a strategic introduction to operations during the peak holiday season.

Lift Airlines Logo By TBA –,

An Exciting Start

Following the competition, Novick said of the names “some were thoughtful and inspiring, like ‘Ubuntu Air’ and ‘FlyMzansi’. ’Djyrynie’ and ‘Planey McPlaneface’ were never going to fly, while ‘Gravy Plane’ must have confused us with another airline!”

The eight people who came up with “Lift” will jointly share in the prize with Novick further adding “It’s been a tough year for so many, and the airline industry is in a mess. We want our new airline to be a collaboration with all South Africans and a statement of optimism. This naming process proved to us once again how very resilient, creative, and inspiring South Africans are.”

Novick has also stated that focus at Lift Airlines right now consists of preparation for operations including such functions as marketing, inaugurating the booking system, crew training, and aircraft preparation.

Lift Airlines plans to succeed despite the COVID-19 pandemic due to a cost base described as 30% lower than that of existing South African LCCs Mango Airlines (JE), FlySafair (FA), and Kulula Air (MN) providing South Africans more choice regarding who they fly while adding further competition to the airline industry.

Featured image: Global Aviation Operations Airbus A320-200 Photo: Global Aviation Operations (GE)