Thousands of Australians have expressed their preferred destinations to startup airline Bonza ahead of its launch in early 2022.
The airline was revealed in October and is slated to focus on providing leisure travellers with more low-cost options for discovering new and regional destinations, chief executive Tim Jordan says.
According to the company, many potential future customers signed up to learn about Bonza and complete an online survey.
“The destinations requested are spread far and wide across the country from Hobart to Broome, and Busselton to Cairns,” said Bonza.
Some of the destinations mentioned are not operated by other Australian airlines like Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin, giving Bonza a competing edge for numerous regional spots.
These included the Whitsunday Coast, Uluru, Toowoomba and Broken Hill, Flight Connections shows.
Some listed, including Busselton, Albury, Tamworth, Bundaberg, Orange, Port Macquarie, Mildura and Devonport are routes solely operated by Qantas.
“The initial response from potential customers has been nothing short of Bonza!” said Jordan.
“We’ve had requests for flights to all corners of the country proving that Aussies are keen to explore their own backyard.
“Our focus is firmly on providing leisure travellers more low-cost options for discovering new and especially regional destinations. That’s why Bonza is here for ‘Allstralia’.”
Survey takers were also asked how they feel about Bonza, and the airline said common responses included: “‘excited’ along with ‘about time’, ‘awesome’ as well a few ‘beauty mate’ and ‘you rippa’.”
Since the airline was announced, over 3,600 Australians have registered interest in jobs after the pandemic displaced thousands of skilled workers.
Current estimates suggest over 11,000 aviation professionals lost their jobs across Qantas and Virgin alone since March 2020, due to the impact of the pandemic on the sector.
Speaking exclusively with Australian Aviation, Bonza founder Jordan said the Bonza website had been inundated with EOIs and applications for roles at the airline in the days after the airline was unveiled.
Bonza is eyeing to enter service with an initial fleet of two to three 737 MAX 8 aircraft, to which Jordan said in October the airline scored a “phenomenal” deal for the jets.
The move will see Bonza become the first Australian airline to welcome the 737 MAX for regular domestic operations, after the aircraft was grounded globally for nearly two years following two fatal crashes overseas.
On 15 November, expressions of interest from Australian airports closed, and Bonza is currently in negotiations to pen its launch routes, the airline said.
Jordan told Australian Aviation 30 airports had “responded positively” to a request to launch routes in October.
Bonza is also in discussions with state and territory governments to confirm where the airline’s headquarters will be located, but Jordan said it will be regional.