Great Britain

New South African airline launches competition to choose its name – and winner gets free flights for a year

A new South African airline has launched a competition in which members of the public are invited to choose its name.

Aside from the prestige of having their entry emblazoned across the carrier’s aircraft livery, the winner will also receive a year of free flights worth an estimated R480,000 (£22,000).

However, the competition might not suit international frequent flyers – the new airline will be offering domestic services only when it starts operations in December 2020, starting with a Johannesburg-Cape Town route.

“Help to find a name that is unique, aspirational, and cool,” says the competition website.  

“If selected, you could be the lucky winner of a year’s free travel on the airline valued at R480 000.”

Entrants must submit their idea, along with their name, email address and passport or ID number, to the competition website, with the winner announced in the next two weeks.

The carrier is a partnership between Gidon Novick, the founder of South African low-cost airline Kulula, and Global Aviation, a company that primarily wet leases aircraft and crew to other airlines.  

Although a global pandemic might not seem the most auspicious time to launch a new airline, Novick is confident of the business’s viability in these troubled times.

He told Business Tech: “The pandemic has created a unique opportunity to start an airline that is not only dramatically more efficient but also inventive and creative by tapping into the unique talent that our country offers.”

Jonathan Ayache, a former Uber Africa executive who is involved in the project, said the new venture has the opportunity to make being “customer obsessed” its USP.

“This can be achieved by bringing together industry experts, technology and a fresh perspective and strategic approaches from other sectors,” he said.

The airline’s fleet will mainly consist of narrow-bodied, single-aisle jets with around 180 seats.

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