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Bonza hints at 2-month delay to launch plans

written by Hannah Dowling | May 18, 2022

Start-up budget carrier Bonza has hinted that its mid-year launch plans could be delayed until at least September, in a new open letter to future travellers.

The airline has confirmed that it now has a date set for the delivery of its first 737 MAX jet – a key step in its Air Operator Certificate application process – in the coming months, however this date is “slightly later than first expected”, hence the delay in its intended launch.

Penned by Bonza’s chief commercial officer Carla Povey, the letter informs travellers that they “shouldn’t wait” for Bonza’s launch in order to “lock in [their] essential July and August travel plans”.

“Whilst we can’t wait to save you the long car ride or the need to holiday at home, we’d rather be upfront,” she said.


After unveiling its plans to the world in October 2021, Bonza had initially been aiming to launch in Q2 of 2022. Speaking with the Australian Aviation podcast, CEO Tim Jordan later said this goal had been pushed back slightly to “mid-year”, as the airline continued to navigate the AOC process with CASA.

“I know you’re keen to grab your cozzies and gather your rellies all for less than a tank of fuel. So, it’s only fair to give you an update on how we’re tracking. After all, you can’t be called Bonza and not be fair dinkum …” Povey said.

“We’re getting closer to take-off, which means we’re getting clearer on potential start dates. Having this locked in is key to going on sale with our first wave of flights.

“If we have more positive news to share sooner, we will,” she added.

It comes after rival Rex’s deputy chairman John Sharp suggested that Bonza’s eight-month timeframe from AOC application to formal approval was too ambitious, given how long it had taken Rex, which already held an Australian AOC, to get its own approval to ramp-up operations to include Boeing 737 capital city flights.

“To do that, they’ve got to get a high-capacity air operator certificate, and you won’t get that in under 12 months – if you can do it in that time,” Sharp said in November.

However, despite the delay, Bonza has said it looks forward to the delivery of its first aircraft and will continue to keep its future customers informed of developments.

The news comes just weeks after Bonza revealed it had hired Virgin Australia’s former GM of operations planning, Michael Young, as its new chief operations officer, to lead its negotiations with CASA.

Young has more than 35 years of aviation experience, including senior roles at Jetstar Japan, SaudiGulf Airlines and most recently as the CEO of Tasman Cargo.

It followed the exit of former COO and co-founder Peter McNally in March who left the role weeks after the airline revealed the details of its initial network offering of 25 routes to 16 destinations, including Cairns, Mildura, Newcastle and Whitsunday Coast.

Tamworth was later added to the list, bringing the total network to 27 routes across 17 destinations.

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Comment (1)

  • Howard


    Let’s see what happens come September 2022……

    No flight schedules’, or fares’ have been promulgated by this mob yet.

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