Durban – Travellers will be able to fly between OR Tambo and King Shaka International Airports as soon as 26 October but can make their bookings as of Thursday.
The airline which has also expanded its fleet has plans to fly between Durban and Cape Town and flights to the mother city are expected to be available in November.
It’s official. ☀️☀️☀️ Our most requested destination is now open for booking! Durbs, from 26 October ‘22 we’ll be flying between JHB – DUR. Head to https://t.co/0CFb6X9uJD and book now.
We can’t wait to welcome the 031 to the LIFT family! pic.twitter.com/qfC7mLZzGN
— LIFT Airline (@LiftAirlineSA) September 22, 2022
The low cost airline was launched in December 2020 in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and had only been operating between Joburg and Cape Town.
The golden triangle route between Joburg, Durban and Cape Town was the most requested on social media which has prompted the move.
Lift CEO and co-founder Jonathan Ayache, said it had been a challenging two years but that they expected the market to recover to pre-pandemic levels in late 2023.
He mentioned that the airline would be increasing its flight frequency between Joburg and Cape Town with up to fourteen flights per day.
“We couldn’t be more excited to add Durban to our list of destinations, it’s one of the most common requests we receive on social media and has been on our radar for a while,” he said.
“We’re also adding four aircraft to our fleet which has been done using flexible capacity and can easily be increased or decreased based on demand.
“This growth in our fleet and new routes will create more than one hundred new jobs before the end of the year.”
Siboniso Duma, MEC of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, said the province was looking forward to welcoming thousands of tourists to Durban.
“The recent launch of Tourism Month on September 15 demonstrated our readiness to host visitors that have chosen to make KwaZulu-Natal their destination of choice,” said Duma.
Durban mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said an additional domestic airline was critical for tourism and that it would support those wanting to visit over the coming festive season.
“We warmly welcome LIFT as it will unlock domestic tourism.”
Hamish Erskine, CEO of Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone said the airline’s introduction of flights to Durban was a delightful one.
“The airline promises a unique experience for the KwaZulu-Natal traveller while providing South Africans with another competitive option to connect between Gauteng and KZN,” he said.
Tourism KZN’s Phindile Makwakwa said the local market had been awaiting the establishment of this route.
“The airline adds additional seat capacity to the Durban market, which improves access to our destination for both our business and leisure travellers,” said Makwakwa.
“The importance of air transport to South Africa continues to be highlighted by the role domestic and international airlines play in the movement of people, commodities and investments that fuel our economic development.”
Travellers can look forward to LIFT Premium, complimentary snacks on board, unlimited penalty-free changes, no cancellation fees and selected dog-friendly flights.
To book your flight visit lift.co.za