Low-cost carrier Bonza names new routes, bases

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Bonza won't compete on the major routes in Australia but is trying to carve out its own niche. (IMAGE: Bonza)

https://www.cfmaeroengines.com/engines/leap/Australian low-cost carrier, has made what it claims to be “the largest launch announcement in Australian aviation history” by revealing its route map, airport bases, head office location and all-digital approach. Sunshine Coast Airport has been named the home base with an initial two based aircraft and Bonza’s head office. Melbourne Airport is named the second airport base to welcome two of Bonza’s fleet of Boeing 737 MAX. 

Twenty-five routes will take Australian travellers, including only one capital city, to 16 destinations: Albury, Avalon, Bundaberg, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Gladstone, Mackay, Melbourne, Mildura, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba Wellcamp, Townsville and the Whitsunday Coast. The route map accounts for the first five aircraft and Bonza plans to operate up to eight in its first year of operation. In a show of intent to raise the bar high in terms of customer experience, Bonza will dedicate one aircraft as a spare.

“Since announcing Bonza to the world late last year, we’ve always said we wouldn’t just fly between Australia’s three largest cities and instead give people in the regions more choice. Today we deliver on that promise, with the largest launch announcement in Australian aviation history,” said Tim Jordan, CEO of Bonza. “From our two bases on the Sunshine Coast and Melbourne, we will give Aussies more options at ultra-low fares to explore their own backyard. With destinations ranging from Albury to the Whitsundays, travellers will now be able to fly, instead of impossibly long road trips as well as fly direct without a stopover in a major city. Aussies can look forward to enjoying more time at their destination and spending less of their hard earned cash getting there in the first place,” added Jordan.

From Bonza’s initial route network, 96 percent of routes will welcome a low-cost carrier. Eighty percent of routes are completely unserved and therefore Bonza will open up entirely new markets for destinations across three states. In the most telling sign that Bonza is here to offer choice to Aussies, the network will increase low-cost carrier operated routes by 40 percent. To mark the launch, Bonza also unveiled its brand new 737 MAX aircraft with finishing touches applied. The purple theme was continued on the Sunshine Coast with the Big Pineapple going purple to mark the historic aviation news. 

Rick Howell from 777 Partners and Bonza’s executive chairman said “777 Partners firmly believe in the opportunity that Bonza presents to democratise air travel for all Aussies and provide independent choice to a market long deprived of it. Today, Bonza proves its commitment to do just that. Our brand new fleet of 737 MAX aircraft, the youngest, most technologically advanced and most efficient in Australia, will ensure more Aussies get to travel at low prices but with the bar set high on the quality of their experience with us. Although some airlines in the past have connected the two, low cost travel does not mean low quality travel. We’re investing in advanced aircraft to bring the opportunity for low fares along with great environmental efficiencies.” 

The location of Bonza’s head office at Sunshine Coast Airport was also revealed today. In true Bonza style, the office won’t be a traditional set-up and instead is being coined the ‘Bonza Backyard’. Today’s news will bring future job opportunities to the Sunshine Coast as well as provide a ‘home’ for ‘Bonza Legends’ to collaborate in person as needed, with a large proportion of roles to be based virtually all over the country. “The Bonza Backyard at Sunshine Coast Airport provides us with an ideal base for our virtual workforce to come together – just as Aussies do in their own backyards,” said Jordan.

Jordan also shared Bonza’s decision to advocate for a paperless experience, with the launch of its own app saying its commitment to technology is part of a broader focus on customer experience and sustainability: “We encourage everyone to download the new app to be the first in the know for flights going on sale, fare sales, destination news and travel tips. We are also giving people the chance to win flights.”

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