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Sunshine Coast to Whitsundays first Bonza service to launch

written by Adam Thorn | November 9, 2022

Bonza’s second 737 MAX, Bazza, touches down on the Sunshine Coast

Bonza has revealed its inaugural service will be between the Sunshine Coast and Whitsunday Coast, with tickets costing $59 one-way.

The airline was hoping to begin operations last month but is unable to do so until it receives the crucial Air Operators Certificate, which it’s still yet to receive.

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.

Australian Aviation has been charting Bonza’s progress with a series of exclusive stories.


Last month, we exclusively revealed how the airline had quietly registered a third aircraft, VH-UBI, as it edges towards launch.

Its first, VH-UJT, now known as Shazza, and second, VH-UIK, now known as Bazza, have already arrived in Australia, with VH-UBI, now known as Sheila, set to touch down soon.

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’.

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.

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.

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Comments (7)

  • World


    World Hercules

  • Charlie Wetere


    Can not wait for Bonzas ocker named planes!

  • Jan Laird


    I hope you are able to fly before Christmas so that our daughter can fly direct to Sunshine Coast from Mackay. Such a cost & performance to get here from rural areas!

  • Pete


    It is high time for CASA to pull its finger out and get this operator going without further delay.
    They should be concentrating on prioratising assistance to this operator, the CASA has a well known reputation for hindering completion of the approval process over petty issues that may not be an immediate safety concern.

  • Mike


    I give them 6 months max before they fold.

    • Timothy


      That’s being very generous methinks, Mike.

      There’re obviously reason(s) CASA is taking its’ time in approving their AOC, so they mightn’t even ‘get off the ground’.

      They’re loudly boasting that 93% of their routes aren’t being flown by any other airline.
      Maybe if they stop to think, WHY is it so, it would give ‘em a very obvious clue!

    • chris


      Me thinks that’s a bit harsh. Give them a go!

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