Bonza CEO Tim Jordan has dismissed the idea that his company poses a threat to legacy airlines, as it largely services routes its rivals have not taken up.
Speaking to the Australian Aviation podcast, which you can listen to above, Jordan said, “We may get the odd customer who happens to fortuitously find that, on a Tuesday, we happen to be flying between the Sunshine Coast and Mildura, and that may happen to coincide with their plans.
“If they happen to live on the Sunshine Coast and want to transit normally via Melbourne, then we may see that customer rather than somebody else.
“However, I think the chances of that happening are pretty few and far between. More likely, what we’re seeing is we are generating new traffic because all of a sudden, friends and family, from whether it’s the Sunshine Coast or Mildura, can actually get to see each other – or perhaps if you’re in Mildura, you want to head to the beach, up to Queensland, or vice versa, head back home to Mildura.”
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. Many traditional carriers, however, have argued their model would not work in Australia.
Jordan stressed that Bonza’s model involves looking for new markets rather than attempting to go toe-to-toe with legacy carriers on routes such as the Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane “golden triangle”.
“We are about market growth. And I think ultimately, in the numbers, what we will see as an industry [will be] a net increase in growth, probably at or about the number of customers that Bonza is carrying,” he said.
“We’re not about shuffling existing [passengers] between one carrier and another carrier, we are about market growth. So I don’t think any carriers are seeing any impact to their bottom line by what we’re doing in the market.”
Chief commercial officer Carly Povey said the airline has “earned the right to grow”.
“Our focus now is firmly on improving our operations, earning the respect of customers, and then, we will continue to add new routes and a third base to continue our mission of connecting communities across Australia,” she said.