LIFT Airline (styled as 'lift') is a start-up South African low-cost airline. LIFT operates major domestic routes between O. R. Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport (it’s one of the 12 busiest in the world!), as well as flights to Cape Town International Airport and George Airport (seasonal) in Western Cape. The airline also hopes to begin flying to King Shaka International Airport in the near future.
The airline launched flights in December 2020 — timed to tie in with the start of the summer holiday season in South Africa. Its first flight flew between Johannesburg and Cape Town, which is the most popular route within South Africa the only route that it launched with.
What sets LIFT apart from most other carriers is that it's very flexible in the way it flies. LIFT has a flexible flight schedule that changes based on demand for routes. So, instead of flying half-empty planes on routes that few people want to travel, it flies the most exciting and in-demand routes that passengers want to fly. As well as flexible routes, it also has flexible change and cancellation fees. As long as change/cancellation requests are made 24 hours before flying, any flight booked with LIFT Airline can be changed (date of travel) multiple times and passengers can cancel their flight and receive airline credit.
Did you know? The name of the airline, ‘LIFT’, was chosen by the public, who were invited to name and vote via a social media campaign. Over 25,000 names were submitted, and the final name (LIFT Airline) was submitted by eight contestants, all of whom get to share the prize of free flights for a year! The name was chosen because it reflects optimism.
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As well as USD and EUR, you can choose to pay for your flights in South African Rand (as well as over 70 other currencies!)
Top Tip: For more travel advice, check out our guide to domestic flights within South Africa, which includes a full airline guide and FAQs.
As of March 2021, the airline operates to the following destinations in South Africa:
|Western Cape||Cape Town||Cape Town International Airport||CPT|
|Western Cape||George||George Airport||GRJ|
|Gauteng||Johannesburg||OR Tambo International Airport||JNB|
Flights to George Airport are currently seasonal. The airline also hopes to also begin operating flights to the city of Durban (King Shaka International Airport, DUR) soon — although a date has yet to be announced.
LIFT flies with 1 cabin class — Economy Class. The airline's goal is to offer an affordable way to fly, with a focus on customer experience.
The airline provides a high-quality service, but at affordable prices, aimed at locals who want to explore South Africa. As a low-cost airline dedicated to making air travel as affordable as possible for all, Economy is the only cabin class available.
All passengers have a fully flexible ticket, which means they will be able to change their flight as many times as they want to without fees being incurred. During the flight, coffee is complimentary and served to all passengers.
The airline only offers an Economy Class cabin, which features a newly furbished cabin, which is bright and spacious. There is plenty of storage in the overhead compartments and under the seats.
Passengers are allowed one piece of hand luggage. The total dimensions must not exceed 115cm (56cm (L)+ 36cm (W)+ 23cm (H)) and must not exceed the weight of 7 kg.
Passengers are also allowed an additional personal item, such as a small handbag and/or laptop in addition to the one piece of hand luggage allowed.
Each piece of checked baggage must not exceed 23kg, and must not exceed the maximum dimensions of 208cm (90cm (L) + 75cm (W) + 43cm (H). Please be aware that any bag that weighs more than 23kg may be subject to a 'heavy bag' fee at the airport.
Checked baggage is not included in the price of the ticket, and must be purchased prior to departure. You can easily add the amount of checked bags you'll need to your reservation during the booking process. Extra checked baggage can be purchased up to 24 hours prior to departure, either online or at the airport.
Due to the short flying times, there's no full meal service on LIFT flights. However, the airline does offer a range of complimentary snacks and drinks on all flights.
Passengers who catch a morning flight can enjoy a choice of drinks — 'proper coffee', provided by Vida e Caffè, hot chocolate, tea and juice and water. Plus, passengers can choose between Rusks and Jungle Oats for a snack.
On afternoon flights, gin, wine, hot drinks, juice, water and a light snack will be offered for passengers to choose from. On select flights, the airline offers wine tasting with a selection of wines from South Africa’s top wineries.
*In-flight snacks and drinks may be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The airline will operate three Airbus A320 aircraft, all of which have a capacity of 180 passengers.
Online check-in is available through the LIFT online check-in page. To check-in, passengers must enter their booking reference and surname.
For domestic flights: Check-in desks will open 2 hours before scheduled departure.
For international flights: Check-in desks will open 2 hours before scheduled departure.
Check-in desks close 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure.
Passengers will need to arrive at the boarding gate 30 minutes prior to departure.
LIFT will always strive to provide special services for those with disabilities or requiring additional assistance. However, the acceptance of the number of passengers with special requirements (wheelchair use) per flight is limited. It is advised to contact our customer service team no later than 48 hours before your flight departs to ensure your needs can be met.
A select number of LIFT Airline flights are dog friendly. Dog friendly flights allow a limited number of passengers to bring small dogs with them on the plane. There is a maximum number of dogs allowed on each flight and d and most flights aren't dog friendly. So, those who don't want to fly on a dog friendly flight will have plenty of other options.
O. R. Tambo International Airport (IATA: JNB) is an international airport serving Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa. It's the primary airport for domestic and international travel to/from South Africa. In fact, JNB is the busiest airport in Africa. International airlines that operate from the airport include Airlink, British Airways, South African Airways, FlySafair, CemAir, Virgin Atlantic, and United Airlines.
Click on the logos below to find out more about airlines that operate similar routes:
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LIFT is a great airline to fly with if you're looking for domestic flights within South Africa to some of the countries most popular destinations. Unlike most airlines, LIFT's flight schedule is flexible and is determined by the most popular routes. This means that its schedule regularly changes based on where people want to fly. Although it's always based in Johannesburg, it offers flight connections all throughout the country and is a good choice for domestic flights if you live within the area or you're flying in from an international destination.
To see the latest destinations that LIFT is flying to, check our destinations section on this page. We keep it as up-to-date as possible but, as LIFT is changing its flight schedule more often than most airlines, there might be destinations missing. Most LIFT flights depart from Johannesburg, so, another way to check if LIFT is offering flights for the route that you're looking for is by using our search form at the top of the page and searching any domestic route that departs from Johannesburg. Even if LIFT Airline doesn't fly that route, we offer a wide selection of South African airlines at Alternative Airlines and are sure to have flight options for your route.
Yes, LIFT is currently flying. Lift is a new airline, which began flying in December 2020. As well as Lift, Alternative Airlines offers lots of other options for flying in and around South Africa, including South Africa Airways, Ethiopian, and Kenya Airways.
Yes, you can book LIFT Airline flights through Alternative Airlines. We're an Online Travel Agent (OTA) that makes it easy to book flights around the world in English, with our expert customer service team on hand to help. We ticket over 600 global airlines, including LIFT.
LIFT is owned by Gidon Novick and Jonahan