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Australia’s New Budget Airline Reveals Future Plans
Bonza — Australia’s newest budget start-up airline — is stepping up its operations and presenting its first routes across the country. The low-cost carrier has unveiled its launch route network with flights set to begin in the middle of 2022.
Last year in October, the independent low-cost airline revealed its plan to launch Down Under — expanding travel options for citizens across the country looking to take a break. Tim Jordan, the airline’s CEO, stated that the airline’s goal was about “bringing more choice to Aussies from a leisure perspective”. The airline has announced the launch of 25 new flight routes this year which will connect travelers to 16 different destinations.
The low-cost start-up carrier will initially offer 25 trips to 16 destinations, 20 of which will operate from two hubs at Melbourne, Australia and Sunshine Coast airports. Sunshine Coast will have 12 routes to places in the Australian states of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland including Albury, Avalon, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Mackay, Melbourne, Mildura, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Townsville and the Whitsunday Coast.
A further eight will operate from Melbourne, Australia to Bundaberg, Gladstone, Mackay, Mildura, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Toowoomba Wellcamp and the Sunshine Coast, with additional routes featuring cities across Australia, connecting the Whitsunday Coast to Newcastle and Toowoomba Wellcamp, Rockhampton to Cairns and Townsville, and Mackay to Cairns.
Unfortunately, Sydney did not make it onto Bonza’s launch list, with the Sunshine Coast and Melbourne taking the spots. According to Bonza, 80 percent of its planned routes are now unserviced, and its network would expand the number of low-cost carrier routes in Australia by 40%.
Fleet and Specifics
Bonza advertises itself as a low-cost airline that serves cities and rural areas around Australia that have been underserved by regular, large-scale flights. According to Jordan, Bonza’s rates would be comparable to Jetstar’s. It will also be clear that the airline will not participate in stunt fairs since it is not a good way to treat consumers.
Bonza will initially operate a fleet of five B737 Max aircraft in an all-economy configuration, with flights expected to go on sale within the next two months, subject to regulatory permission. Depending on approval, the airline hopes to begin flying in the middle of this year, with its first Boeing arriving in Australia at the end of May. Bonza plans to increase its fleet to eight planes within its first year.
Bonza is now creating its own app — claiming that the company’s dedication to technology is driven by consumer experience and sustainability. When all functions are introduced to the app in the following weeks, it will be the place for customers to plan, book and manage their active reservations. They would also be able to access boarding cards and in-flight retail. With this app, Bonza aims to provide a paperless experience for the passengers.
Bonza’s Domestic Influence
Sydney — which is a fantastic market to enter — is losing out because other airports have provided better conditions and access to landing slots, but this could be a temporary problem. Jordan has stated that they “believe there are opportunities in Sydney to do something different,’ and’ ‘want the 20 percent of the population who call Sydney home to benefit from Bonza fares in the future.”
Rex Airline — the regional carrier that launched capital city services last year — had difficulty getting permanent slots at Sydney Airport, so this could be a wise move for the new low-cost carrier.
Bonza is funded by 777 Partners who is a major private investment group situated in North America with over $US6 billion in assets under management. Aviation is one of the company’s pillars, and 777 Partners has already successfully launched Flair Airlines, a Canadian low-cost carrier.
“[777 Partners] saw the opportunity in Australia and Bonza is coming and here to stay for the long term,” Jordan added.
Bonza will be Australia’s first new low-cost carrier since Tigerair Australia entered voluntary administration in March 2020 as a result of Covid-19. It will compete with Jetstar — Qantas’ low-cost affiliate — in the domestic market.
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