Lift Airlines, began flights of its scheduled 3 times daily air services between Johannesburg and Durban this week. The start-up airline, which was established two years ago has grown its route network to include Durban, entering one of South Africa’s most popular routes.
“The launch of Lift Airlines air services to Durban is a welcome addition to King Shaka International Airport, improving the much-needed capacity on one of South Africa’s most popular routes Durban- Johannesburg.” Said Mr Siboniso Duma: MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, in a message of support. He furthger expressed his satisfaction with the launch of Lift Airline and noted. “As KwaZulu-Natal, we aim to continue working with our airline partners to drive sustainability and stability in the market to ensure that air travel remains accessible, for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”
Domestic airlines play a significant role in driving the recovery and rebuilding efforts of South Africa’s local aviation industry ensuring that it continues to benefit business and leisure travel.
Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, Cllr Mxolisi Kaunda, echoed the positive sentiments expressed around the launch by saying, “We would like to extend our warmest welcome to the new member of our family as eThekwini and wish LIFT Airlines growth and resilience that will make it a global player in the aviation sector.”
He continued, “For any city to compete on a global stage, it is crucial to have a vibrant and competitive aviation industry because it facilitates international trade and drives rapid growth in tourism. We are pleased that this launch takes place at the time when the City is implementing its summer season campaign. We have no doubt that this event will contribute immensely to our efforts of attracting more than 900 000 visitors to the City during the festive season.”
The CEO and co-founder of LIFT Jonathan Ayache added, “It’s no secret that Durban has had its fair share of struggles over the past two 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 one 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.”
“As of June 2022, King Shaka International Airport’s traffic volumes have recovered to 56% of their pre-pandemic levels. King Shaka International Airport is one of the fastest-recovering international airports in South Africa with a majority of the traffic driven by leisure travel as well as people visiting friends and family, domestic travel has played a significant role in driving this growth. With Lift Airlines entering the market we would like to see this development stimulate travel and accelerate traffic volumes.” Says Mr Hamish Erskine CEO of Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone and Co-chair of Durban Direct
Lift Airline has grown its fleet and has two more aircraft arriving this year.