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Bonza heads to the outback with new Mount Isa route

written by Jake Nelson | September 18, 2023

Victor Pody shot this Bonza 737 MAX 8, VH-UKH, dubbed ‘Malc’.

Bonza has added a route from its third base on the Gold Coast to Mount Isa in outback Queensland.

The twice-weekly route will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays starting from 5 December and will mark Mount Isa as the 19th destination on Bonza’s current route map. No other airline flies from Mount Isa to the Gold Coast, though Qantas, Virgin and Rex all have services to Brisbane.

Bonza CEO Tim Jordan said the new route would boost affordable air travel in Mount Isa, opening up more holiday choices and providing low fares to FIFO workers in the region, and thanked Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) – which owns Mount Isa, Townsville and Gold Coast Airports – for its support.

“At Bonza, we’re about connecting more Aussies to their backyard than ever before and this new route will bring more tourists to Mount Isa from the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales region, while offering Mount Isa locals the opportunity to travel to the Goldie without it costing the earth,” he said.

“Connecting communities across Australia would not be possible without our airport partners, so we are grateful for QAL’s support to help us deliver low-cost fares for the many, not the few.”


QAL CEO Amelia Evans said the announcement is a sign of QAL’s and Bonza’s “commitment to improving regional connectivity”.

“Bonza’s new connection offers a convenient and affordable option for travellers and contributes to a broader reduction in the cost of regional airfares,” she said.

“This announcement is not only a significant milestone for our group of airports, but also an important connection for the Mount Isa community and our State.”

Bonza announced the addition of its Gold Coast base – the low-cost carrier’s third, following the Sunshine Coast and Melbourne – in August, flying initially to 11 existing destinations: Albury, Bundaberg, Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Melbourne Avalon, Melbourne Tullamarine, Mildura, Rockhampton, Townsville and the Whitsunday Coast.

The airline subsequently announced flights from the Gold Coast to Launceston, its first route outside the eastern seaboard. With the addition of Mount Isa, Bonza will operate 35 concurrent routes to 19 destinations.

The Gold Coast base will be supported by a wet-lease agreement with “sister” Canadian airline Flair, which 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, ‘Matilda’, is expected to arrive next year.

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