Bonza’s first aircraft has touched down at Sunshine Coast Airport, landing a massive coup for our region.
In one of the largest launch announcements in Australian aviation history, Sunshine Coast Airport in February was named as the first Bonza base and head office location for the nation’s only independent carrier.
The arrival of the first aircraft, which left Seattle on July 29, flew to Honolulu July 30 and then left Fiji Monday morning, marks a major milestone for the company and supports its ongoing momentum with the regulatory process.
It is the first Boeing 737 MAX to be based in Australia and will be part of a fleet of brand new and fuel efficient aircraft.
They will cater for Aussie travelers flying to an initial 17 destinations on 27 routes.
Destinations soon to be available for Coast residents are: (Queensland) Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, the Whitsundays Coast, Rockhampton; (NSW) Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Newcastle, Albury, Tamworth; (Victoria) Melbourne, Avalon and Mildura.
Bonza, which hopes to be wheels up by late September, has 200 pilot and cabin crew roles to fill across its network, with 100 of those “Legends” to be based on the Sunshine Coast.
Bonza CEO Tim Jordan said the company was “beyond excited” to welcome its first aircraft to Sunshine Coast Airport.
“With so much buzz around the country for Bonza, we hope it is also exciting for the communities we’ll be flying to,” he said.
“Our team of legends has been working hard behind the scenes to reach this significant milestone and so it was important that we were all here to welcome flight AB 001 together.
“We are now one important step closer to connecting more Australians with convenient low cost travel options to more destinations for holidays and to visit loved ones.”
The aircraft will have its interior completed on Aussie shores. It will be used as a spare aircraft, a clear investment in customer experience and part of Bonza’s strategy to minimize potential disruptions to its customers wherever possible.
Additional aircraft will follow and ultimately support Bonza’s growth plans beyond its initial Sunshine Coast and Melbourne bases.
“This is an exciting time for Australian aviation and most importantly, the Aussie traveling public who will now enjoy more choice,” Mr Jordan said.
“Ninety three per cent of Bonza’s routes are currently not serviced by another airline (25 out of 27 routes) and 96 per cent are not currently served by a low-cost carrier,” he said.
“Flights are expected to start from around $50 for each hour a customer is in the air and 8kg of carry-on baggage is included in the flight price.”
Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie said the arrival of Bonza’s first aircraft on the Sunshine Coast was “a momentous day for the region”.
“We are very proud to be named as the home base for Bonza,” he said.
“Our partnership with Bonza will benefit the region, state and community, connecting more people to more places, bringing them closer to the moments that matter most.
“The arrival of Bonza is a game changer for the Sunshine Coast that will create more local jobs and spearhead tourism and business growth across the wider region.”
Earlier this month, Bonza announced its IATA code as ‘AB’ as a nod to Andrew Brodie and his team who welcomed Bonza to the Sunshine Coast as its home base. It also represents Bonza’s mission of getting customers from A to B without C (cost and complexity).
Aussies are encouraged to download the Fly Bonza app, which will be the only place to book directly.
The airline is also calling out for Aussies to help name the plane by asking them to comment on Bonza’s social media pages with their nicknames.
“Who better to name our first aircraft than the people we are here to serve. If you have a nickname that would look good on the side of our first aircraft, head to our Instagram and Facebook pages and let us nick your nickname,” Mr Jordan said.