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Bonza crew to wear shorts, t-shirts and blazers

written by Hannah Dowling | June 10, 2022

Bonza’s “wear it your way” uniforms, with lead uniform designer Pamela Jabbour. (Bonza)

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.

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“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.

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“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.

Bonza is gearing up to begin flying 27 routes to 17 destinations around the country from later this year.

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.

Comments (9)

  • Graeme

    says:

    Cool. So the crew on a Bonza flight are going to look like the employees at my local JB Hi-Fi. Which is to say I’ll have no idea who they are.

  • CapnJay

    says:

    How does this rubbish make it past the planning stage. I like shorts, and people have the right to do or wear what they want, but this is work. An important, dare say critical safety role not some welcome to the burger shack have it your way job. There is a level of professionalism that needs to be maintained and that expectation and level of pride reflects onto customers which in turn results in respect. Who are you more likely to listen to the professionally dressed pilot or some ex junky looking bloke/woman/it that looks like they just got outta bed after a rough night out on the beers in their shorts joggers and tshirt… Also theres a safety factor to consider here, seriously shorts, i can understand not wanting to wear a skirt because burn the bras and all ffs, but wear pants. You dont see a firefighter in their undies rocking up so why should we see that rubbish onboard an aircraft with a Well documented history of critical failures! Whats next flip flops, jandals and crotchless chaps? How about the pilots and crew wear speedos? or sport that beard full of last nights dinner and drool. I know id never fly on a max and never with and airline that doesnt enforce something as SIMPLE as a dresscode. Its work not play time, it shouldnt be that hard to decide to get dressed professionally for work. if not, dont work there its that simple. Sad to say, but i hope casa and unions step up over this stupid decision that could compromise passenger safety. Especially things like pregnant women in active onboard roles…. really? Come on, that to me screams we are desperate for staff and will compromise not only passenger safety by operating a max but by allowing potentially life threatening situations to occur.

    • Drew

      says:

      Capnjay, gee you must be VERY old school! Qantas has had maternity uniforms for cabin crew for decades.
      There is a limit beyond which pregnant crew cannot fly and that would apply to Qantas as to Bonza crew.

  • Gordon Mackinlay

    says:

    These casual uniforms will make with a fear of flying feel safe. Utter stupidity, people look at those in authority, or who have responsibility, to give a image of responsible work practice. These pseudo Ocker uniforms, do not give a image of people who will “save” our lives in a emergency! Remember the first uniforms of Virgin 20 odd years ago.

  • Double G

    says:

    This legit is starting to look like the parody movie ‘Soul Plane’ with Snoop Dogg as a pilot..

  • Craig

    says:

    Hope they all get to wear this gear on actual flights, whenever that maybe.

    With its start-up date being pushed further & further back, one wonders what’s in store for it.

  • Joe

    says:

    won’t be flying them

  • Vannus

    says:

    Bonza has, so far, given an impression of total lacking in aviation professionalism.

    From purchasing the dreaded Boeing 737-800MAX type of aircraft to now, sloppy ‘uniform’ choice for their crews’.

    Let’s hope their safety training is up to standard, as cabin crew dressed like this don’t give the impression of the huge responsibility entrusted to them, in an aircraft emergency.

    Their launch date is yet to be decided.
    That too, smacks of not being very professional.

    Let’s see where they’re at in a year’s time……

  • Steve Innes

    says:

    Nope.
    Will not be spending my hard earned to travel to third rate destinations in the company of half dressed nutters who think there are more than two genders.
    Great way to follow the likes of Ansett, Compass 1, Compass 2, ect.
    Get woke, go broke, isn’t that what they say?

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