Lift starts flying – How its prices compare with Kulula, FlySafair, and Airlink

South Africa’s new domestic airline Lift started flying on two routes today – Johannesburg to Cape Town, and Johannesburg to George.

Lift is a collaboration between Global Aviation, Kulula founder Gidon Novick, and ex-Uber executive Jonathan Ayache.

Its biggest value proposition is increased flexibility where clients are allowed to change or cancel tickets without any penalty.

Lift will initially operate three newly branded Airbus A320 aircraft that were officially unveiled at OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday.

The new airline’s staff are kitted out by the online fashion retailer Superbalist and travellers are treated to coffee from Vida e Caffè on morning flights.

Afternoon flights feature wine tasting from a selection of South Africa’s top wineries, which Novick said will give valuable exposure to South Africa’s top wine farms.

Ticket prices start at R525, but Novick said he expects these prices to increase as demand for flights grows.

“Prices will go up. There is currently an oversupply in the market which drives prices down. That will change over time,” he said.

He previously made it clear that they are not planning to engage in a price war with other domestic airlines like Kulula and FlySafair.

“Cutting prices is not a sustainable strategy. It is easy to do, but everyone will then lose money,” he said.

Instead, Lift will focus on offering their clients more convenience and a better experience than their competitors.

Lift clients are able to change or cancel their tickets within 24-hours of the flight. They will also be allowed to make changes multiple times.

Novick said travellers typically do not change their flights very often, but when they book, they want to know they can change if needed.

Domestic flight prices compared

While Novick said pricing is not Lift’s main strategy to gain customers, it remains the most important consideration for most travellers.

In fact, pricing is so important that airlines control demand for seats by lowering and increasing prices.

Most South Africans, especially leisure travellers, will first compare prices before they book a flight. The lowest price typically wins.

This raises the question of how Lift’s pricing stacks up against competitors like Kulula, FlySafair, and Airlink.

To answer this question, MyBroadband looked at the price for a single ticket on 11 December for flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town, and Johannesburg and George.

The prices were collected on 9 December 2020 for all tickets.

The results showed that flight prices start from R422 for a flight between George and Johannesburg on FlySafair.

Lift has the lowest overall price while Airlink has the highest average price on the routes that were assessed.

The table below provides an overview of the flight prices for Lift, Kulula, FlySafair, and Airlink.

Johannesburg to Cape Town
Airline Date From To
Lift 11 December 2020 R585 R795
FlySafair 11 December 2020 R621 R2,022
Airlink 11 December 2020 R1,223 R7,301
Kulula 11 December 2020 R1,296 R3,953
Cape Town to Johannesburg
Airline Date From To
Lift 11 December 2020 R585 R585
FlySafair 11 December 2020 R722 R822
Airlink 11 December 2020 R832 R2,754
Kulula 11 December 2020 R882 R2,906
Johannesburg to George
Airline Date From To
FlySafair 11 December 2020 R522 R920
Lift 11 December 2020 R525 R525
Kulula 11 December 2020 R606 R721
Airlink 11 December 2020 R2,723 R7,907
George to Johannesburg
Airline Date From To
FlySafair 11 December 2020 R422 R422
Lift 11 December 2020 R525 R525
Kulula 11 December 2020 R606 R606
Airlink 11 December 2020 R2,033 R3,667

Lift aircraft and staff

Lift co-founder Gidon Novick interview

Now read: Inside Lift’s new planes

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments


Share this article
Lift starts flying – How its prices compare with Kulula, FlySafair, and Airlink