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Bonza begins fourth route between Sunshine Coast and Townsville

written by Adam Thorn | February 22, 2023

Bonza 737 MAX VH-UJK, named Sheila, arrives at Townsville Airport.

Bonza launched its fourth commercial flight on Wednesday between its base on the Sunshine Coast and Townsville.

The airline’s 737 MAX, VH-UJK, named Sheila, departed at 7:03am as flight AB631 and landed at 8:45am. It marked the aircraft’s first commercial flight since it arrived from Nadi in December.

Bonza’s first-ever service between the Sunshine Coast and Whitsundays began on 31 January, and it will next start flights between Rockhampton and Townsville on Friday. Its full launch schedule is at the bottom of this article.

The business also confirmed on Tuesday that flights from its second base of Melbourne Airport, which includes a further 12 routes, would go on sale later this week via its app.


“We know Townsville is rugby league heartland, and there are plenty of NRL fans who will be jumping onboard to catch a match at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium,” said the airline’s CEO, Tim Jordan.

The airline said Townsville airport had recently completed a series of upgrades to its security screening zone, check-in areas and retail space, ready for the airline’s arrival.

Amelia Evans, the CEO of Queensland Airports, which oversees the airport, said it expects Bonza’s new route to be popular with friends and family travellers.

“More than one million passengers are already flying between Townsville and Brisbane each year, and that number continues to grow – this new link between North and South-East Queensland will provide our customers and community with another option,” Evans said.

Bonza is the first Australian operator to attempt to fly so-called “point-to-point” leisure services that skip out major cities and allow consumers to fly direct from holiday destination to holiday destination.

The business has said 93 per cent of its final 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.

Bonza was hoping to begin flying last winter but waited far longer than expected to receive its crucial licence to fly from CASA, which came through in early January.

It currently has a fleet of three MAXs to service its early network, but plans to expand that to target eight as it services more destinations.

Its first aircraft, VH-UJT, was named Shazza; its second, VH-UIKBazza; and its third, VH-UJK, Sheila.

The airline appears to have made a success of its launch, announcing it had sold 10,000 seats after just three days on sale.

You can listen to our exclusive podcast interview with CEO Tim Jordan, above, and premium content subscribers can read our exclusive look inside the launch of the airline here.

Route / launch date / flights per week

Sunshine Coast to Albury – 7 April – 2

Sunshine Coast to Avalon – 21 February – 3

Sunshine Coast to Cairns – 27 March – 5

Sunshine Coast to Coffs Harbour – 20 April – 2

Sunshine Coast to Mackay – 14 February – 3

Sunshine Coast to Mildura – 4 April – 2

Sunshine Coast to Newcastle – 28 March – 4

Sunshine Coast to Port Macquarie – 12 April – 2

Sunshine Coast to Rockhampton – 13 March – 3

Sunshine Coast to Townsville – 22 February – 4

Sunshine Coast to Whitsunday Coast – 31 January – 3

Cairns to MacKay – 29 March – 2

Cairns to Rockhampton – 31 March – 2

Newcastle to Whitsunday Coast – 30 March – 2

Rockhampton to Townsville – 24 February – 3

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