LIFT airlines has an on-time performance average of 97% and offers dog-friendly flights. Picture: supplied.
LIFT airlines has an on-time performance average of 97% and offers dog-friendly flights. Picture: supplied.

WATCH: LIFT airline celebrates its first birthday

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Dec 10, 2021

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LIFT celebrates its first anniversary this December. The newest SA airline pushed boundaries since they started at the height of a global pandemic.

“Our approach has always been simple. To keep the customer at the centre, while solving real-world problems,” says LIFT CEO and co-founder, Jonathan Ayache.

“Thanks to the level of customer service provided over the past year, we feel that LIFT has won a place in the hearts of our travellers. As an indication, more than 270 000 passengers have boarded over 2 000 flights and flown a whopping cumulative distance of 2 416 800 kilometres,” says Ayache.

The airline, which has an on-time performance average of 97%, also launched its dog-friendly flight offering, carrying 375 dogs since April 2021.

Ayache says their success would not have been possible without its key partnerships.

“The first partnership we formed was with our future travellers. We reached out to the public to help us name the airline, involving customers from the very beginning.

“LIFT launched with two notable partners. Superbalist.com kitted out the crew in the latest trends while vida e caffè came on board to offer travellers real coffee at 30 000 feet," he adds.

The airline has also collaborated with Pick n Pay Smart Shopper loyalty programme, eBucks partner ecosystem and Discovery Vitality’s new travel platform for Discovery Bank, to give its customers more value for their buck.

Additional milestones include partnering with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) to become the official domestic carrier of Team SA’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

They also launched LIFT Premium in October, which offers travellers complete comfort and care in a business-class inspired setting.

Travellers have also been treated to many onboard surprises – most notably a silent disco in the sky to launch the career of singer-songwriter, Divine Mahara.

Last month, they launched LIFT Experiences, a set of curated travel experiences that caters for all kinds of budgets. With the help of travel experts, the bold new move aims to stimulate tourism amid Covid-19 waves and lockdown levels.

“We never said it would be easy and our first year certainly wasn’t always smooth sailing. We had a small period in July where due to the third wave and Gauteng restrictions, leisure travel was totally banned. Luckily our flexibility allowed us to not only survive but thrive through it.

"We don’t fly empty aircraft and are the industry-leaders in terms of occupancy. This reduces the effective carbon footprint per passenger, making it good for both the business and the environment," says Ayache.

The airline aims to expand its domestic and regional route and will soon be able to take a commitment to greener flights to a whole new level with an upcoming partnership with carbon dioxide air capture technology specialists, Clime works.

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