South Africa’s New Airline to Launch in December

South Africa’s brand-new airline, Lift Airlines, is set to launch on 10 December 2020 and has found its name thanks to an overwhelming response from the public to it’s naming competition.

The name was selected from over 25 000 creative suggestions from South Africans who participated for a chance to win a year’s worth of travel on the airline.

The Lift Airline is a partnership between established operator Global Aviation Kulula founder Gidon Novick and former Uber executive Jonathan Ayache. A group of highly experienced industry specialists have joined the team.

“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,” said Novick.

“We had so much fun going through the entries. Some were so 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,” said Novick.

Ultimately the decision was made to choose a name that was relevant to the category, unique, optimistic and of course easy to pronounce and remember.


Novick thanked and congratulated Reto Reolon, Marisa Melck, Arnoldus Greyling, Alaisha Maharaj, Dawn McCarthy, Ashley Ragunan, Hilary Atkinson and one anonymous South African for their creative input and enthusiasm in helping to name the Lift Airline.

Leading advertising agency, M&C Saatchi Abel, have also come on board to assist with establishing and bringing the brand to life.

In the words of one winner, Reto Reolan – “Lift, to me, is a statement of opportunity, optimism and freedom: to revisit places known, explore places new, find business and reconnect with family.”

The competition Terms and Conditions called for a lucky draw in the event of multiple entries submitting the same name. The finalists were all contacted and — as a group — decided to instead share the prize, each receiving a portion of flights for the year.

With a name safely strapped in, the team is now focused on its final pre-launch activities, including getting the booking system up and running, crew training, aircraft preparation and marketing activities ahead of the first flight set to take to the skies in December when the new airline Lifts off.

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