A well know aviation attorney Johan Botha has launched an attack on the pending Lift Airlines of Gidon Novick.

Botha claims that lift has not fulfilled the legal requirements for starting a new airline – particularly that it has not obtained its own Aircraft Operators certificate (AOC) and that its use of the Global Operations AOC is not legal.

Johan Botha writes:

Lift Airlines is set to launch in the coming weeks. This airline does not conform to the requirements of the Act in several material ways:

  • Lift Airlines (Pty) Ltd is a registered company K2020/652049/07 as per CIPC. 
  • The sole director in Gidon Saul Novick.
  • The have been no Gazette publications for a license in the name of Lift Airlines. 
  • The website www.lift.co.za is a booking portal where tickets can be purchased and paid for. 
  • Payments made are to Lift Airlines.
  • For all intents and purposes Lift Airlines holds itself out to be an airline. 

Lift Airlines has widely stated that it will be making use of Global Operations (Pty)Ltd for provision of the flights. Making use of a license not issued to the Air Service is an offense under the Act: 

26. Any person who—

( f ) uses a licence or other document issued under this Act of which he, she or it is not the holder;

(fA) permits a licence or other document issued under this Act of which he, she or it is the holder to be used by any other person;

shall be guilty of an offence.

The penalty for this offense under the Act is:

in the case of an offence referred to in subsection (1) (b)(e)( f )(fA)(g) or (h), be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.

Lift Airlines has recently tried to divert attention after the shortcomings were pointed out on social media. They now claim on their website  that Lift Airlines is a division of Global Operations (Pty) Ltd.  There have been no Gazetted amendments to the License held by Global to add said trading name. In any event you cannot trade in the name of a related party. 

It is common cause that Gidon Novick is the principle of Lift Airlines. It is a matter of public record that Mr Novick is the sole director of Lift Airlines (Pty) Ltd. Any claim that Lift Airlines now is a division of Global Operations in tantamount to fraud. Its a thinly vailed attempt to bypass the Act by claiming a license holder is using the same name as company set up by Mr Novick to operate as an Airline. This brazen approach demonstrates the contempt for the Council, the Department of Transport and the industry and public at large. 

The Scheduled Air Service License issue to Global Operations in 2016 contained a provision that the continued validity of the license was dependent on the commencement of a service within 12 months of issue.  Global Operations failed to fulfil this requirement and as a result the S1/S2 license is no longer valid. It should be noted that this provision operates automatically should the condition not be met. As the Act makes no provision for revalidating an invalid License the License would now need to be apply for a new license to be issued under a new license number. Global Operations is not licensed to operate scheduled air services within the Republic. 

The Air Services License Council is dutybound to halt the operations of Lift Airline as it does not conform to the requirements of the Act. 

Yours faithfully

Johan Botha