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Lift launches new route, expands flights in South Africa

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 serviced 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 are set to go live on Thursday (22 September), and the first flights will start operating on 26 October with three return flights per day, it said.

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 operate from November 2022.

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

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

“It’s been a challenging two years, but looking ahead, we expect the market to recover to pre-pandemic levels in late 2023, and for the second year in a row, we will be doubling our seat capacity,” Ayache.

Lift has not been alone in expanding flight capacity and routes, with other airlines such as FlySafair and Qantas opening new routes within South Africa.

FlySafair CEO Elmar Conradie said the group added more flights at the start of September 2022, with even more flight capacity being launched in October.

The group hopes to get additional planes in the sky by December – bringing three new planes in total – with further capacity coming in 2023.

5 new flights launching in South Africa

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

The liquidation significantly impacted flight availability and cost, leaving alternative airlines to compensate for the lost capacity. Flight ticket prices increased while seat capacity decreased.

According to airlines, tickets with high demand for quick travel frequently fetch higher costs, in the R2,000 to R3,000 area. However, low-demand routes reserved well in advance are frequently less expensive – under R1,000

Read: Good news for petrol and food prices in South Africa – but there’s a catch

Artmotion S.Africa

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