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Bonza opens Melbourne hub with first flight to Sunshine Coast

written by Jake Nelson | March 30, 2023

Bonza’s 737 MAX VH-UIK, “Bazza”, departs Melbourne Tullamarine for the Sunshine Coast. (Image: Bonza)

Bonza has opened its Victorian base at Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport with its first flight to the Sunshine Coast this morning.

Bonza’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft VH-UIK, nicknamed “Bazza”, touched down at Sunshine Coast Airport as flight AB1023 at 11:07am local time this morning, having departed Melbourne Tullamarine at 10:01am. Bonza is planning to operate two aircraft from Melbourne flying nine routes, seven of which are unique to the low-cost carrier.

Melbourne is the only capital city on Bonza’s network so far, though the airline already operates flights to nearby Avalon, and the carrier expects to run 24 flights per week to regional NSW, Victoria, and Queensland by the end of May. Destinations will include Bundaberg, Gladstone, Mackay, Mildura, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, the Sunshine Coast, Tamworth, and Toowoomba Wellcamp.

“Our team of legends have been working hard to set up and launch our second base at Melbourne Tullamarine. The Victorian capital is our second home and based here are a number of cabin crew, pilots, and first officers who get to come home after a day travelling to regional destinations on our route map,” said Tim Jordan, chief executive officer of Bonza.

“Demand is high for Aussies to travel domestically and as the cooler months are upon us, Melbournites can now take a low-cost flight to many Queensland destinations for direct access to winter sun — or stay within Victoria for a winter wine escape to Mildura.”


Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus welcomed Bonza’s decision to use the airport as its second base, saying its routes will connect Victorians with family and friends around eastern Australia at a low cost.

“It’s been a long time since Australia has had a brand-new airline. The timing couldn’t be better, as Victorians prepare for the Easter and school holidays and look for affordable ways to travel, whether that’s to see family and friends or simply take a well-deserved holiday to explore more of our own backyard,” she said.

“Domestic travel has seen strong growth over the past few months, and we are back to 83 per cent of pre-COVID traffic. Across the airport, we’re continuing to plan for infrastructure development and expansion so that new entrants like Bonza have adequate room for growth.”

Bonza this week notched up a victory against its doubters, with 100,000 bookings confirmed through its Fly Bonza app — enough to fill more than 500 flights. Its first NSW flight, from the Sunshine Coast to Newcastle, touched down on Tuesday.

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