Bonza is adding the Apple Isle to its route map, with the low-cost carrier to fly from its third base on the Gold Coast to Launceston.
The service, to launch on 21 November, is Bonza’s first outside the eastern seaboard, and will connect it to its fourth state after Queensland, NSW and Victoria. With 11 other routes planned from its new Gold Coast base, Bonza will operate 34 concurrent routes to 18 destinations.
“Our strapline is ‘Here for Allstralia’, and today we take another step in delivering that promise with our first destination beyond the many incredible East Coast locations we fly to,” said Bonza’s Chief Commercial Officer, Carly Povey.
“There will be more destinations for Launceston, and Bonza’s wider route map, to come. We look forward to revealing what’s next when the time is right.”
Flights will operate three times per week, on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. According to Povey, Launceston is the latest example of Bonza’s focus on unserved and underserved routes, and Tasmania has been in high demand.
“Since we launched in January, travellers have been calling out for flights from Launceston on our social media channels and today, we are delighted to deliver. The good news is, already more than 11,000 Tasmanians have already downloaded our Fly Bonza app so they’re ready to go,” she said.
“This brand new low-cost route is a first to operate year round and will open up opportunities in both destinations for tourism and trade. It’s good news for Aussie travellers and the many small to medium businesses who make up the local tourism and hospitality industries.”
Shane O’Hare, CEO of Launceston Airport, has welcomed Bonza’s move, saying it will be a big boost for Tasmania.
“Bonza is doing things differently and by providing direct connections between new parts of the country they are making it more affordable for Australians to explore their own backyard,” he said.
“These year-round services will make it much easier for Tasmanians to enjoy Australia’s favourite holiday hotspot, but it also opens the door for thousands more tourists from south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales to visit our state.”
Bonza has entered a wet-lease agreement with its “sister” Canadian airline, Flair, which is also owned by investment firm 777 Partners, to support the Gold Coast base.
The agreement will see Flair aircraft and crew fly Bonza-branded flights in the Australian summer, while Bonza will reciprocate and send its planes and people to Canada during the North American peak season.
Bonza’s fifth 737 MAX 8 aircraft, dubbed “Matilda”, is expected to arrive next year.