New South African Airline Asks Public To Choose Its Name

Editorial

A new South African airline that wants to start flight operations in December is asking the public to come up with its name. The still unnamed airline says it is looking for a “unique, ambitious and cool” name.

The new airline is an initiative of Gidon Novick, the founder of the South African budget airline Kulula.com, and Global Aviation. This South African Aircraft leasing company has Airbus A320s with which the new airline is to fly. The first flight will be on the busy domestic route Johannesburg-Cape Town.

At first sight, it seems illogical to set up a new airline during the coronavirus crisis, but Novick sees opportunities right now. The national airline South African Airways is in serious debt, as is its subsidiary airline Mango. A restart is only possible if the government comes up with the equivalent of five hundred million euros.

Comair and SA Air Express, two other major players in the South African aviation landscape, are also experiencing financial difficulties. According to local media, only FlySafair and SA Airlink have their affairs in order and can – as long as possible – continue flying. According to Novick, this offers opportunities for a new domestic player to enter the market.

He thinks it must distinguish itself from the established order. “Much like the way Uber has transformed point-to-point mobility, there is a huge opportunity for the airline industry to rethink its relationship with passengers and be more customer-centric,” Novick reports to the Flight Line website.

In order to actively involve the public in the project, a competition has been organized to come up with the name. The creator of the winning name can fly for free with “Airline X” for a year. Participation is only permitted for residents of the Republic of South Africa.

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