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Bonza plays down CASA launch delay

written by Casey Martin | November 2, 2022

Bonza’s second 737 MAX, VH-UIK, arrives on the Sunshine Coast

Bonza has played down the delay in it achieving its crucial clearance with CASA to launch, arguing it had “expected” the process to be thorough.

The airline was hoping to begin operations last month but is unable to do so until it receives the crucial Air Operators Certificate.

However, in new comments, chief executive Tim Jordan said, “The regulator performs an incredibly important role for the country.

“We are bringing new aircraft into Australia, and we would expect the process to be thorough.”

When Bonza does begin commercial operations, it will fly so-called ‘point-to-point’ leisure services not serviced by the capital city-focused Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin, and Rex.


Bonza said 93 per cent of its network — 25 out of its 27 routes — are not currently flown by any other airline, while 96 per cent are not served by any other low-cost carrier. Flights are expected to cost around $50 for each hour of the flight.

Destinations on Bonza’s initial route map include Melbourne, Avalon, Sunshine Coast, Mildura, Albury, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Mackay, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Tamworth, Townsville, Whitsunday Coast, Bundaberg, Gladstone, and Toowoomba.

Australian Aviation has been charting Bonza’s progress with a series of exclusive stories, including revealing how the company quietly registered a third 737 MAX with CASA last week.

The formal acquisition of a new aircraft, VH-UBI, came after Australian Aviation revealed its second, VH-UIK, was en route to Australia and its first, VH-UJT, is flying up and down the east coast.

Bonza initially planned to launch with a fleet of two to three MAXs before increasing its ambitions to target having eight.

Nonetheless, a fleet of three would be enough for it to begin operating some of its planned 27 routes in a staggered start.

In September, we published exclusive photos that showed two more of its 737 MAXs were being painted in its purple livery at the Victorville desert ‘boneyard’.

Eagle-eyed photographer Nic Hope captured the image, below, from the storage facility, which included a two-year-old narrow-body registered as SP-LVN.

The aircraft appeared to be originally operated by LOT Polish Airlines, which also ran Bonza’s first 737.

Bonza’s launch is waiting on it obtaining the Air Operators Certificate, and the airline in May hired Virgin Australia’s former GM of operations planning to lead the negotiations.

The business said Young’s remit would also include flight and cabin crew, engineering, ground services, and on-time performance.

He’ll also be helping lead the recruitment of 200 cabin crew and pilots.

The appointment of a big hitter will be seen as a coup given his six years in a similar position at Virgin and Tiger.


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Comment (1)

  • Ashley


    The bosses’ at AB are obviously getting very nervous in that their AOC hasn’t yet been granted.

    There’s obviously reasons’ for this.
    The jet’s they wish to operate were involved in TWO horrific crashes’, killing nearly ~500 people.

    Let’s see in the fullness of time what happens……

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