Budget start-up carrier Bonza has unveiled the first look at its uniforms – including shorts, blazers, and sneakers – while also promising to freely welcome uncovered tattoos and gender-diverse expression onboard.
The uniform has diverted from traditional airline staff attire, by also featuring white “custom” sneakers, cotton t-shirts, and the option to “wear it your way”.
The start-up said its uniform will include “tailored shorts”, in a nod to its many tropical Queensland destinations, along with a white cotton t-shirt and a blazer with Bonza-purple trim.
However, crew will have the option to swap out their shorts for a longer pair of pants or swap the t-shirt and pants entirely for a dress and sleeveless coat.
Bonza will also provide its crew with branded accessories including the Bonza “thumbs up” pin, custom branded socks, and a purple scarf that can be worn as a hair, neck or pocket accessory.
Pilots will see a slightly more traditional uniform, with a white button-up shirt, tailored pants and a charcoal blazer with silver stripes – however, will still boast a Bonza logo, alongside purple lining on the blazer and inside the shirt collar.
However, in a break of tradition, pilots will not wear a pilot hat.
“Our brief was clear. Create a uniform that Bonza legends will wear with pride,” said Bonza chief commercial officer Carla Povey.
“We know airline uniforms are the land that time forgot, and we wanted to change that.”
Bonza said it will have no formal “grooming guide” in place for its pilots, cabin crew, or ground-based staff, allowing employees to express themselves how they wish.
“We won’t dictate what lipstick to wear – or whether you have to wear lipstick at all,” Povey said.
“We won’t ask crew to cover up their tattoos and just because you’re female, that doesn’t mean you have to wear a skirt.
“If you’re non-binary, pregnant, work in the office or onboard, we have options for you. Bonza is for the many not the few, and that’s what you’ll see with our first-ever uniforms.”
The uniforms have been designed and created in collaboration with Marrickville-based uniform firm Total Image Group.
“My goal was for the uniforms to reflect the excitement and optimism that Bonza brings to Aussie travellers,” said Total Image Group head designer and CEO Pamela Jabbour.
“They’re ditching the rule book in every way and the uniforms are no exception. Instead of pantyhose, polyester shirts, black high heels and traditional embroidery – we have created a uniform that reflects current trends and that legends will wear with pride.”
In late March, Bonza began advertising for over 200 pilots and cabin crew to man its initial fleet of five 737 MAX jets, out of both its Sunshine Coast and Melbourne bases.
It comes weeks after Bonza hinted that its mid-year launch plans could be delayed until at least September, in an 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 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.