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South African air travel innovation in the wake of the pandemic's founder Gidon Novick is changing things up on the travel front once again as he prepares to launch an innovative new airline.
Photo by Sunyu Kim from Pexels
Photo by Sunyu Kim from Pexels

A new concept in South African air travel

Not only will this novel offering operate according to a new business model, South Africans were also given a chance to have a say in naming it.

Novick says his concept’s based on Uber and is grounded in a partnership between Global Aviation, South Africa’s leading Airbus A320 operator, and himself.

Entries closed on 2 October 2020, so the cool, catchy and home-brewed name should be released soon. The winner gets the chance to try out the new airline on free flights for a year, subject to a few generous terms and conditions.

Apart from bringing a new name to the industry, this brand new airline’s set to shake things up when it comes to domestic travel too.

Helping the travel industry soar again

The first few flights are scheduled for December, just in time for the holiday rush and will cover the popular Johannesburg to Cape Town route.

The recent pandemic has highlighted the need for something new and more efficient, and boosted by the creative energy of South Africans. Novick has assembled a team of seasoned industry veterans with fresh input from professionals in the hospitality and tech sectors to spearhead his project.

Is it a good time to start a new airline right now?

Novick sees a massive opportunity for the airline industry to re-imagine its relationship with customers and adopt a more consumer-centric approach to travel.

It’s time for the industry to follow the lead created by unique cost-effective concepts such as ride-sharing to harness all available resources in the quest to make air travel more affordable and accessible.

E-Uber Africa executive, Jonathan Avache, who’s also on board with this brand new airline, believes the airline industry’s well-positioned for this type of reboot in the way it’s always done things. The industry’s ripe for establishing a meeting point where innovation, technology and industry experts can work together to re-invent the future of air travel.

At a time when most of the travel industry are closing their ranks and cutting down, Novick sees the opportunity for expansion – a proverbial silver lining, as it were.

Thanks to the worldwide turndown in travel, Novick’s been able to acquire airport facilities, hire skilled workers and lease aircraft at reasonable prices. For this forward-thinking entrepreneur, now’s the perfect time to branch out instead of cutting back.

By combining the best of existing business models with new, more efficient tactics and by starting small to keep costs low, Novick believes he’s hit the sweet spot with regards to changing up the way people think about air travel.

More of the same?

When first took to the air, it was also a fresh-faced product with an equally novel approach at the time. The airline was the first to adopt affordable no-frills flights in South Africa and soon caused waves with its tongue-in-cheek marketing and quirky airline liveries.

At the time of its launch, raised a few eyebrows. Now, almost 20 years later, chances are good that you will still be able to save on Kulula flights to Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, George and Johannesburg.

Will this yet-to-be-named offering take off in the same way?

SA Airlines
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