The lift has joined the four other airlines offering flights on South Africa’s second-busiest domestic route.
South African start-up airline Lift has launched flights between Johannesburg and Durban. The inaugural flight departed on October 26th, operated by one of the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft.
The airline will now fly three times per day from Johannesburg O R Tambo International Airport (JNB), the busiest airport in the country, to Durban King Shaka International Airport (DUR), the third-busiest.
Lift Airlines is keen to fill the gap in the market left by the demise of both Mango and Comair. The airline will however face significant competition on the route from four other airlines – FlySafair, South African Airways, Comair, and Airlink.
The lift will operate 3 flights per day, each with a block time of one hour and 15 minutes. The schedule is as follows:
- Flight GE201 – departs Johannesburg at 06:00 and comes to Durban at 07:05
- Flight GE202 – departs Durban at 08:00 and comes to Johannesburg at 09:05
- Flight GE209 – departs Johannesburg at noon and comes to Durban at 13:05
- Flight GE210 – departs Durban at 13:55 and comes to Johannesburg at 15:00
- Flight GE211 – departs Johannesburg at 16:00 and comes to Durban at 17:05
- Flight GE212 – departs Durban at 18:05 and comes to Johannesburg at 19:10
“It’s no secret that Durban has had its fair share of struggles over the past 2 years, and we are just so proud and happy to play a small part in bringing back travel and tourism to such a deserving city. Durban is 1 of the most common requests we receive on social media and has been on our radar for a while, and for that, we couldn’t be more excited.”
The news was well-received locally too, with KwaZulu-Natal’s Department for Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs stating,
Lift Airlines air services to Durban
“The launch of Lift Airlines air services to Durban airport is a welcome addition to King Shaka International Airport, improving the much-needed capacity on one of South Africa’s most popular routes – Durban to Johannesburg.”
King Shaka International Airport
Durban airport was formally named in 2010. Following public consultations, the name King Shaka International Airport was chosen, in honor of King Shaka, the leader of the Zulu nation in the early 19th century. South Africa was hit hard by the pandemic, and the airport lost several routes as a result, including British Airways’ direct service to London Heathrow on its Boeing 787 aircraft.
Lift’s inaugural flight to Johannesburg will provide an increase to Durban’s King Shaka International Airport and the region’s economy. In a sign of the airport’s continued recovery, another new route that will launch on November 17th is TAAG Angola Airlines’ service to Luanda.
Lift currently has 3 Airbus A320 aircraft in its fleet, each seating 180 passengers. The airline prides itself on being “South Africa’s most flexible airline,” with unique perks including, free seat selection, onboard food and drink, and the option to receive a full refund in the form of credit in the Lift wallet to use towards future flights. The feature has so far proven to be popular with passengers.
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