Ex Comair CEO new Airline

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Confused Pilot
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Ex Comair CEO new Airline

Unread post by Confused Pilot » Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:58 pm

Anybody have any further information regarding Gideon Novick wanting to start a new airline?
Last edited by Confused Pilot on Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Erik Venter's new Airline

Unread post by 1900driver » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:56 pm

Unsure, think you have the wrong ex - CEO.
Gidon Novick according to the Financial Mail?

Just as interested as you in the details.

Driver.
Last edited by 1900driver on Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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GL
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Re: Erik Venter's new Airline

Unread post by GL » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:21 pm

Yup - Gidon Novick
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Re: Erik Venter's new Airline

Unread post by Confused Pilot » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:47 pm

Aaah thanks for the correction. I'll try edit my first post. Not sure if I can change the title though.

Will be interesting to see what this is about.
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Re: Ex Comair CEO new Airline

Unread post by PH-BFY » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:21 pm

Crazy time to be starting an airline, unless you are running SAA when none of the normal market & industry dynamics apply.
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Re: Ex Comair CEO new Airline

Unread post by evanb » Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:37 am

PH-BFY wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:21 pm
Crazy time to be starting an airline, unless you are running SAA when none of the normal market & industry dynamics apply.
If you're thinking ahead to start operating next year it's not so crazy. Aircraft costs have tumbled, plenty of staff (particularly pilots and cabin crew) looking for work and likely willing to take discounts. Finance costs at all time lows. Airport infrastructure wide open. One can really build in a really low cost base.
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Re: Ex Comair CEO new Airline

Unread post by opsmike » Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:37 am

I still think he was the brains behind Kulula when it started up and grew as quickly as it did, so if anyone can he can
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Re: Ex Comair CEO new Airline

Unread post by Jfairwell » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:28 pm

opsmike wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:37 am
I still think he was the brains behind Kulula when it started up and grew as quickly as it did, so if anyone can he can
I second that, Comair lost its flair in that boardroom coup. He is a force to be reckoned with, must just time the market entry right.
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Re: Ex Comair CEO new Airline

Unread post by kudu177 » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:28 pm

opsmike wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:37 am
I still think he was the brains behind Kulula when it started up and grew as quickly as it did, so if anyone can he can


He was very hands on. "Got" the business, in my opinion.

Also very approachable/accessible -- great for a journalist and (also IMHO) good for generating that tricky and often elusive quality called "goodwill".
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Re: Ex Comair CEO new Airline

Unread post by African Flyer » Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:54 pm

Has he given any details about it? Like bases, fleet, destinations, low cost or not?
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Re: Ex Comair CEO new Airline

Unread post by Deanw » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:37 am

17 July 2020: MyBroadband
South Africa to get a new tech-driven low-cost airline – Details

Kulula founder and former Comair CEO Gidon Novick recently revealed his plans to launch a new low-cost domestic airline in South Africa which focuses on efficiency.

This may be seen as a strange decision, as the airline industry has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic and travel bans.

SAA has collapsed, Kulula owner Comair is in business rescue, and the travel and airline industries are in dire straits.

Novick, however, is upbeat about the opportunity which the pandemic brings to re-look at traditional business models and find how things can be done differently.

Novick said the pandemic has created the prospect of affordably acquiring the key inputs to start an airline – aircraft, facilities, and skilled employees.

A key focus for Novick is on efficiency and cutting costs, which include leasing aircraft at dramatically reduced rates.

He added that there are high-quality maintenance facilities available which are far cheaper than what they were a few months ago.

Through experience he found that airlines get less efficient the larger they get, so starting off small gives a new airline a big advantage.

Another focus for Novick is flexibility. “With the market uncertainty, a flexible model which can adjust to market demand is critical,” he said.

He told MyBroadband technology will play a very important role to increase efficiency.

“Technology has the ability to facilitate a seamless, efficient, and engaging relationship with our future customers,” Novick said.
Financing and debt

Novick told MyBroadband the new airline will be fully funded through private capital with no debt.

He said his business experience showed him the incredible damage debt can do to a business, especially in a volatile industry like air travel.

“Staying away from debt is absolutely key to the success of launching a new low-cost airline,” he said.

To keep costs down they will launch with used aircraft which are either purchased outright or leased.

These will mainly be narrow-body, single-aisle aircraft with around 180 seats, like the Boeing 737 or Airbus A320.

He explained local airfares are much lower than in many developed countries which require a local airline to adjust their business model. This includes using older aircraft.
Staring route and airline travel changes

The starting route for the new airline will be Johannesburg to Cape Town – one of the busiest routes in the world and one which Novick is familiar with through Kulula.

The flights will be between OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport.

He said while Lanseria is a great success, OR Tambo has a much larger catchment area and offers better routes down the line.

This has traditionally been a strong route for business travel, but this is not Novick’s focus.

He said he is not bullish on business travel. “Business travel will continue, but at significantly lower volumes,” he said.

He also expects fewer but longer trips with a changing dynamic around the distinction between business and leisure travel.

The focus for the new airline will be South Africa’s potential as a tourist destination. “Leisure travel will bounce back,” he said.

He said travelling and experiences remain popular, and he expects people to continue to spend on leisure travel in future.

The difference will be tighter budgets. While corporates were less price-sensitive, but he said the days of business travellers funding an airline through higher fees is over.

“The requirement for super-efficiency is going to be greater than ever,” said Novick.

Novick said regulations and behavioural changes will dictate when the new domestic airline will launch.

While the launch date is not clear, he promised South Africans a customer-centric service and attractive product offering when they start to fly.
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