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Bonza takes off from the Gold Coast

written by Jake Nelson | November 15, 2023

Two Bonza employees (centre) celebrate the launch of the airline’s Gold Coast base in front of VH-UIK, ‘Bazza’.

Bonza has cut the ribbon on its new base at Gold Coast Airport, with the first flight to Townsville taking off on Wednesday.

Flight AB1523, Bonza’s inaugural service from its third base, departed the Gold Coast at 9:12am local time on board the airline’s first 737 MAX 8, VH-UIK ‘Bazza’, touching down in Townsville shortly before 11am. It is the first of 14 planned routes to be introduced over the end-of-year period.

“Today’s launch of the Gold Coast is a major milestone for Bonza as we ramp up operations to end the year with 21 destinations and 38 routes,” said Bonza CEO Tim Jordan.

“Next year, we look forward to continuing to make air travel accessible to the many, not the few. We are working towards growing Bonza’s fleet to at least 10 aircraft by the end of 2024 and with that will come our fourth base and extended reach into new states and territories.”

Albury, Avalon, Bundaberg, Cairns, Darwin, Gladstone, Launceston, Mackay, Melbourne, Mount Isa, Mildura, Rockhampton and the Whitsunday Coast will all be served by the Gold Coast base. Eleven of Bonza’s Gold Coast routes are not served by any other airline.


Amelia Evans, CEO of Queensland Airports Limited (QAL), which owns both Gold Coast and Townsville Airports, welcomed the new route as well as the forthcoming Mount Isa service.

“This is a particularly exciting day for us at QAL – the commencement of Bonza’s services will provide more seamless connections for both our customers and our teams, with two of the fourteen routes linking our airports in Townsville and Mount Isa directly to the Gold Coast,” she said.

“As an airport operator, creating valuable connections for the communities in which we operate is important to us and it’s great to hear already how Bonza’s new routes are opening up air travel to more people across these regions.”

Bonza has entered a wet lease agreement with its Canadian sister airline, Flair, for two 737 MAX 8s to complement its existing four and support the new Gold Coast base.

The first of the wet-leased planes, C-FLKC, touched down at around 8:40 on Friday night, and Bonza will send its planes to support Flair in the North American summer when it has more aircraft in its own right.

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