Australia’s new budget Airline Bonza will fly 17 routes after approval from aviation safety body


Australia’s new low-cost airline has been given the green light to fly to 17 destinations across the country, with tickets set to go on sale within days. 

Bonza Airlines received its Air Operator Certificate from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on Thursday, and will service regional airports across NSW, Queensland and Victoria, including 13 from its base on the Sunshine Coast. 

Within Queensland, Bonza passengers will be able to fly from the airline’s hub to Cairns, Townsville, the Whitsunday coast, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg and Toowoomba Wellcamp. 

Australia’s new low-budget airline Bonza (pictured, Boeing 737-8 Bonza aircraft) will be flying to 17 destinations across NSW, Queensland and Victoria

Interstate Bonza travellers can fly from the Sunshine Coast to Albury, Avalon, Coffs Harbour, Melbourne, Mildura, Newcastle, Port Macquarie and Tamworth. 

Travellers catching a flight from Melbourne can fly directly to 10 destinations including Mildura, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast and Port Macquarie. 

The carrier plans to sell tickets as low as $50 for hour-long short-haul flights, with longer flights costing customers anywhere between $75 to $100. 

Travellers looking to snag a cheap airfare can purchase flights through the Fly Bonza app or a travel agent.

Bonza CEO Tim Jordan said the airline is focused on ‘average Australians’ such as ‘tradies, teachers, kids and carers’.

‘The excitement for what we are about to deliver is palpable and the timing couldn’t be better,’ Mr Jordan said.

‘Demand for domestic travel is high and Aussies deserve for travel to be a basic right for many, not a luxury for the few.

The budget airline will fly a total of 17 routes including 13 from its base on the Sunshine Coast (pictured)

The budget airline will fly a total of 17 routes including 13 from its base on the Sunshine Coast (pictured)

Mr Jordan added the approval was ‘historic’ for the nation’s aviation sector as it marked the first new major airline for Australia since the introduction of Tiger Airways in 2007.

Tiger closed down due to the travel bans during the height of the Covid lockdowns.

Bonza’s flight network is expected to expand to some 27 routes – domestic, interstate and international – as the carrier’s fleet and workforce grows. 

Backed by US venture capital firm 777 Partners, 93 per cent of the budget carrier’s destinations are not served by any other airline. 

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King said the airline was a ‘welcome milestone’ for the nation’s aviation industry. 

Ms King described Bonza’s planned routes as ‘underserviced’ and said the low-cost fares will help with surging demand in flights after the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The launch of the low budget airline has been described as a 'welcome milestone' for 'underserviced' routes (pictured, Bonza CEO Tim Jordan with airline staff)

The launch of the low budget airline has been described as a ‘welcome milestone’ for ‘underserviced’ routes (pictured, Bonza CEO Tim Jordan with airline staff)

‘The entry of a new operator will boost competition in the Australian aviation sector, offering more choice to the travelling public, and putting downward pressure on fares,’ Ms King said. 

‘I commend the staff at CASA and Bonza who have worked hard over many months to progress this certification and to ensure that Bonza meets the high safety standards required of all airlines operating in Australia.’

Bonza’s fleet of planes include three Boeing 737 Max-8s, affectionately named Shazza, Bazza and Sheila.

Production of the model was recently halted after hardware and software issues resulted in two crashes and 300 deaths.

However, the aircraft has since been reapproved for flying in 135 countries and is currently being used to fly in and out of Australia by various international airlines.  

Where can you go on a Bonza Airline flight? 

Bonza’s flight network covers 17 domestic and interstate destinations

 Flying from The Sunshine Coast 

NSW: Coffs Harbour, Newcastle, Port Macquarie and Tamworth

Queensland: Cairns, Mackay, Townsville, Rockhampton and Whitsunday Coast

Victoria: Albury, Avalon, Melbourne and Mildura

Flying from Melbourne

NSW: Port Macquarie and Tamworth 

Queensland: Bundaberg, Gladstone, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton and Toowoomba Wellcamp

Victoria: Mildura

Flying from Whitsunday Coast 

NSW: Newcastle

Queensland: Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba Wellcamp

Flying from Rockhampton

 Queensland: Cairns, Sunshine Coast and Townsville

Victoria: Melbourne

Flying from Mackay

Queensland: Cairns and Sunshine Coast

Victoria: Melbourne

Flying from Toowoomba Wellcamp

Queensland: Townsville and Whitsunday Coast

Victoria: Melbourne 

Flying from Cairns

Queensland: Mackay, Rockhampton and Sunshine Coast 

Flying from Townsville

Queensland: Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba Wellcamp

Flying from Newcastle

Queensland: Sunshine Coast and Whitsunday Coast

Flying from Port Macquarie 

 Queensland: Sunshine Coast

Victoria: Melbourne

Flying from Gladstone 

Victoria: Melbourne  

Flying from Bundaberg

Victoria: Melbourne 

Flying from Sunshine Coast 

NSW: Coffs Harbour 

Flying from Albury

Queensland: Sunshine Coast

Flying from Mildura

Queensland: Sunshine Coast 

Victoria: Melbourne

Flying from Avalon

Queensland: Sunshine Coast 

Flying from Tamworth

Queensland: Sunshine Coast 

Victoria: Melbourne 

 

 Source: Bonza

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