You Could Win a Year of Free Flights by Naming South Africa's New Airline

Stunning aerial view of Cape Town, South Africa, with Table Mountain, Lion's Head, Signal Hill and the coastline. Seen from a landing airplane.

In a time when many travel companies struggle to stay afloat, South Africa is set to debut a new airline that will offer domestic flights starting this winter. There’s only one thing missing for the big launch: a name for the new carrier. Instead of seeking the advice of business professionals, the airline has turned to the public, launching a competition to find the best name. The grand prize winner will be awarded the highly appropriate (and valuable) prize of one year of free travel.

Airline executives are looking for “a name that is unique, aspirational, and cool,” the competition website states. “If selected, you could be the lucky winner of a year’s free travel on the airline valued at R480,000 [about $28,000 USD].”

The airline, which is a partnership between Kulula founder Gidon Novick and Global Aviation, will operate its first flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town — the world’s 12th busiest route — in December 2020. While some may view the pandemic as a time to hold off on opening new travel businesses, Novick had a different opinion.

“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,” Novick told Business Tech.

“Similar to the way Uber has transformed the point-to-point mobility, there is a huge opportunity for the airline industry to rethink its relationship with passengers and be more ‘customer obsessed,’” added Jonathan Ayache, an ex-Uber Africa executive who is also involved in the project.

For more details on the competition, including the entry form, head to the official competition website. But hurry. There’s no official deadline, and the website only states that “the winner will be announced within the next two weeks.”

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