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Bonza pushes westward with first Northern Territory services

written by Jake Nelson | September 20, 2023

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

Bonza is continuing its expansion beyond the east coast with the announcement of flights to Darwin and Alice Springs.

The point-to-point airline will fly between Darwin and its two Queensland bases at the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast, as well as between Melbourne and Alice Springs, for a total of 12 flights per week and 116,000 seats per year to and from the Northern Territory.

Darwin and Alice Springs will be destinations 20 and 21 on Bonza’s current route map, with the low-cost carrier now to operate in five states and territories. Flights from the Sunshine Coast to Darwin will start on 29 November, from the Gold Coast to Darwin on 1 December, and from Melbourne to Alice Springs on 12 December.

Bonza CEO Tim Jordan has credited the NT government’s Territory Aviation Attraction Scheme for the move.

“This initiative from the NT Government will increase airline competition, create local jobs and provide a purple jolt to the Territory’s tourism and associated industries. We welcome the game-changing move, which will mean more affordable travel options for Territorians to leisure destinations,” he said.


“Our purple army of supporters have been asking us to add the NT to our route map and today I’m humbled to share the great news from Darwin. Visitors from the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast can now fly direct to the Top End without transferring through a major city airport. The people of Melbourne can now access Alice Springs without it breaking the bank.”

NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles says her government is committed to expanding affordable air travel in the Territory.

“The Territory Government has been relentlessly pursuing more commercial routes for the NT – and today’s announcement is a result of this work,” she said.

“This is a huge coup for Territorians with Bonza bringing new routes for Sunshine Coast to Darwin, Gold Coast to Darwin and Melbourne to Alice Springs, creating more options for residents and visitors alike.”

The news comes just days after Bonza announced twice-weekly services between the Gold Coast and Mount Isa.

Bonza revealed 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.

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