SA's getting a new airline but it needs a name — that's where you come in
SA's newest airline, set to launch domestic flights later this year, is inviting the public to choose its name.
The airline's first flight, between Johannesburg and Cape Town, the 12th busiest route in the world, is planned for December 2020.
Here is what you need to know.
The new airline is a partnership between Kulula.com founder Gidon Novick and Global Aviation, a leading operator of Airbus A320 aircraft. According to Novick, the airline draws inspiration from Uber’s high tech and customer-obsessed approach to mobility.
He said the idea of the airline came during the pandemic, which created a unique opportunity.
“Similar to the way Uber has transformed the point-to-point mobility, there is a huge opportunity for the airline industry to rethink its relationship with passengers and be more ‘customer-obsessed'.”
Another domestic airline
Novick told the aviation website, Flight Line, that he predicts a robust demand for domestic travel during the December holiday season. He said that because of the struggling regional airlines, the market desperately needs another domestic airline and that “there’s an opportunity to create something new, something fresh, something super-efficient”.
“For many of us, we have been put under pressure with Covid-19 in many respects, and so efficiency is forefront in our minds. And on the flip side, there’s the opportunity for creativity,” he said.
“This is the time where traditional, normal ways of thinking don’t necessarily solve the problems that we are faced with and those two things have really got my mind racing towards the opportunity that I see in the airline industry.”
Naming of airline
Novick called on experts from across the transport, technology and hospitality sectors to devise the model. He also invited all South Africans to put their creativity to the test and suggest a name for the new carrier. On its website, the airline said it was looking for “unique”, “aspirational” and “cool” names.
The successful creator will win a year’s free travel pass on the airline valued at R480,000.
“It’s time for some good news for South Africans. It’s time for a better way to fly and it’s time for a brand new airline.”
Entries can be posted on the website brandnewairline.co.za and the winner will be announced within the next two weeks.
Domestic travel under level 1
Last week, transport minister Fikile Mbalula approved domestic flights to 11 more airports.
The airports where domestic passenger flights are now acceptable, according to the Government Gazette, are as follows:
- Bram Fischer International Airport
- Cape Town International Airport
- East London Airport
- George Airport
- Hoedspruit Airport
- Kimberley Airport
- King Shaka International Airport
- Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
- Lanseria International Airport
- Margate Airport
- Mthatha Airport
- OR Tambo International Airport
- Phalaborwa Airport
- Pietermaritzburg Airport
- Plettenberg Bay Airport
- Polokwane Airport
- Port Elizabeth International Airport
- Richards Bay Airport
- Sishen Airport
- Skukuza Airport
- Upington International Airport.