LIFT CEO Jonathan Ayache said over 1 000 passengers have already changed or cancelled their flights since the announcement. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).
LIFT CEO Jonathan Ayache said over 1 000 passengers have already changed or cancelled their flights since the announcement. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

New airline LIFT halts flights

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Jul 1, 2021

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SA's newest airline LIFT cancelled all flights on its Johannesburg - Cape Town route from July 5-31.

Flights will continue until Sunday, July 4. The decision was due to adjusted Level 4 and the subsequent third wave.

The airline said all affected travellers will be provided with an alternative flight.

LIFT CEO Jonathan Ayache said over 1 000 passengers have already changed or cancelled their flights since the announcement.

“People are choosing to stay at home for now. Understandably so. Our crew are also better off staying put until this wave recedes and the vaccination rollout reaches critical mass. We’re very lucky that LIFT’s agile, demand-driven business model allows us to scale up and down as things change. And change, they certainly do," he said.

He said the airline will communicate new flight details via email and SMS to travellers. Passengers who cancel can use the credit for use on future flights.

Apache described the time as a 'frustrating time for South Africans'.

“In our first 7 months of operation, we operated over 1150 flights and transported more than 150 000 passengers with a 97% on-time performance rate and fantastic feedback on our service and the overall experience. It’s a frustrating time for South Africans. For now, stay safe, and we can’t wait to be flying around our beautiful country again soon.” he added.

Bookings are now open for August 1 flights and beyond. Meanwhile, South African airlines have adjusted their flight times to cater to the 9 pm curfew.

Earlier this week, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said restrictions on international air travel remained, with international flights departing from OR Tambo, King Shaka, Cape Town, Lanseria International and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airports. He said long-haul flight departures and landings at the airports were permitted during the hours of curfew.

"Restrictions inside the cabin remain, and aircraft must continue to comply with protocols," Mbalula said.

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