New South African low-cost carrier to open by end of 2020

A South African Airways A330 at EGLL. Photo by Karam Sodhi | AeroNewsX

Gidon Novick, a South African entrepreneur, has announced his intent to form a new airline in South Africa, and he recently announced more news about the proposed new low-cost carrier(LCC), which he hopes to launch by the end of 2020. This unnamed carrier will be supported by private investments and will use an existing Air Operator's Certificate, most likely by, to operated routes such as Johannesburg to Cape Town.

"We don't plan to be massive or to grow very quickly. Keeping it simple, tight, reliable and efficient. With an aviation industry that has been turned upside down, there is an opportunity from a cost viewpoint to create something very efficient relative to what existing airlines are able to do."

His goal is for this new airline to operated “wholly-owned aircraft.” No decision has been made on the fleet type, but Novick indicated that the fleet model operated by FlySafair, another LLC in South Africa, would likely be similar. The plan to launch this new carrier comes in the aftermath of South African Airways collapse, the situation at Comair, and the coronavirus pandemic.

Novick stated that “there is a unique opportunity now. The competitive playing field has been completely changed and there is a chance to do something special. The airline industry is a difficult and inefficient industry, particularly when you have state-funded airlines in the mix. In the current depressed environment, the input costs to start a new airline are at record low levels.”

No timeline is outlined for launching as Novick said “that would depend on South Africa's market returning to a degree of normalcy as high loads are critical to the LCC model.”

“Affordability is the name of the game. People and businesses are not going to have money and will be very price-conscious.”

Novick went on to say it's possible to construct a platform from scratch that is “super-efficient and basing their business model on a smaller industry will be very conservative with a long runway to get into the industry.”

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