Lift launches new route, expands flights in South Africa

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Domestic airline Lift has added a new route to its flights, with passengers now able to book flights between Johannesburg and Durban.

Prior to the announcement, Lift only operated flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

“This is our first step in connecting the popular ‘Golden Triangle’ between Johannesburg – Durban – Cape Town,” said Lift.

Bookings for the Johannesburg – Durban route will go live on Thursday (September 22) and the first flights will start on October 26 with three round trips per day.

Along with the Joburg-Durban flight, the airline expects to announce flights for the Cape Town-Durban route in the coming weeks, with flights expected to start in November 2022.

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Lift will also increase the flight frequency between Johannesburg and Cape Town by up to 14 flights per day.

“We are also adding four aircraft to our fleet, which has been done using flexible capacity and can be easily increased or decreased based on demand,” said Jonathan Ayache, Lift CEO.

“It was a challenging two years, but looking ahead, we expect the market to recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2023, and for the second year in a row we will double our seat capacity,” Ayache.

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Lift is not alone in expanding flight capacity and routes, as other airlines such as FlySafair and Qantas have opened new routes in South Africa.

FlySafair CEO Elmar Conradie said the group added more flights in early September 2022, with even more flight capacity in October.

The group hopes to have additional aircraft in the air by December — bringing a total of three new planes — with further capacity in 2023.

5 new flights start in South Africa

South Africa’s domestic flight capacity has been in shambles since Comair’s shutdown wiped out about 40% of the market’s local flight capacity, leaving leeway airlines scrambling to meet demand.

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The liquidation had a significant impact on flight availability and costs, forcing alternative airlines to compensate for lost capacity. Airline prices rose while seat capacity decreased.

According to airlines, tickets with high demand for fast travel often entail higher costs, in the range of R2,000 to R3,000. However, low demand routes booked well in advance are often cheaper – less than R1,000


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