The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
*This content is brought to you by LIFT
Being flexible from the get-go has allowed LIFT to strike a chord with local customers, and enabled the airline to hit great heights as it has transported nearly 100,000 passengers since its launch.
Customer service has always been an important facet of business, but in the time of cancel culture and the global COVID-19 pandemic that has hammered every sector including the airline industry, delivering stellar customer service has become paramount to a business’ survival.
LIFT was launched during the Coronavirus pandemic and consequently have had to be adaptable to change from the onset and flexible in operation since the very first flight in December 2020.
Flying with complete flexibility
As a customer-focused business, LIFT is sensitive to the needs of customers while supplementing their flight experience, and seeks to address shortcomings within the industry through convenient solutions for passengers.
Where customers normally pay to change flights or the details of the passenger, LIFT flights can be changed multiple times or cancelled to credit into their LIFT wallet. Changes made 24 hours or more in advance, at no additional fees or penalties.
“We also regularly engage with our customers to understand what new service offerings and other enhancements can be made to improve their experience with us. For example, a prominent call has been for their pets to travel with them during their flights which is why we recently launched selected flights for small dogs,” explains LIFT co-founder Jonathan Ayache.
WhatsApp was also identified in LIFT’s customer research as the preferred customer communications and service engagement channel because so many of us in South Africa are comfortable and accustomed to communicating through this platform. Consequently, LIFT has now added a WhatsApp Bot as part of their service offering to make the customer service process smoother for passengers.
From a business travel perspective, ultimately, what is needed is a business offering to suit the new and evolving business travelling needs of consumers, which LIFT takes seriously. For example, the airline has introduced safe and secure e-Wallets for their LIFT customers. This way‚ travellers can get refunded instantly and avoid fussing with vouchers LIFT also offers discounts when buying bulk credits. This offer is useful for businesses whose employees travel regularly and are looking to save on some costs.
Adaptation and becoming flexible does not always require new appointments, approaching consulting firms or other business partners. “When we were working on our technology, we realised that our amazing pilot, Arthur Phaswana, has a wealth of experience in tech and development, and so he was able to assist us in setting up our systems and technology platform. Beyond being our in-house tech guru, Arthur was also one of the pilots on our maiden flight, so he gets to wear the captain’s hat and developer hat,” says Ayache.
upLIFTing South African artists
Lift is also on a mission to #upLIFTsa and the many industries impacted by the pandemic. “We started at home with aviation and travel, and have expanded to another space close to our hearts – the arts,” explains LIFT co-founder Jonathan Ayache.
LIFT is creating an ongoing platform for local talent to shine and bring upliftment to our nation, kicking-off with its recent collaborations with musicians Zolani Mahola and Divine Mahara.
As an artist that is beloved by South Africa and perfectly encapsulates the spirit of LIFT, Zolani Mahola, “The One Who Sings”, was the first and only choice to bring the airline’s vision for an upbeat and joyful anthem to life. Released on Wednesday, 5 May, LIFT’s official anthem reflects Zolani’s sentiments about the feeling of well being and sense of positivity that LIFT embodies, through her distinct voice and uplifting sound.
One of many firsts for the innovative airline, LIFT recently hosted performing artist Divine Mahara on a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg, where he launched his debut album to an onboard audience at 30 000ft.
Ultimately, this innate and novel approach to customer service within this industry is empowering LIFT to tackle the ongoing disruption and emerge from this ‘turbulence’ intact. In fact, in January (only its second month of operation), the company managed to achieve 100% on-time performance which is an amazing achievement for a new airline.
“We look forward to continuing this level of success and to become a springboard for musicians, artists and entertainers around the country. Having only launched a few months ago, we are proud to have already provided flexible travel and unique offerings to customers, while opening up our platform to create opportunities for fellow South Africans. From here, the sky is really the limit,” concludes Ayache.
LIFT is operated by Global Aviation Operations (Pty) LTD trading as Global Airways. LIFT flights currently operate between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Global Airways has been a provider of ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) services to airlines, locally and internationally since 2001 and is the largest dedicated ACMI specialist in South and Sub Saharan Africa.
LIFT operates a fleet of Airbus A320 Aircraft, state-of-the-art 4th generation with fly-by-wire control systems, Flight Envelope safety protection and 3B Auto-land certification that allows for safe landings in poor visibility conditions. Aircraft are fully compliant with current COVID-19 protocols.
Flights can be changed or cancelled online more than 24 hours before departure with no added fees. Cancelled flights result in a credit to the customer being created. If there is a difference in fare on changed flights the difference is either payable by the customer or refunded to their credit account.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.