Bonza has launched the Sunshine Coast’s first service to and from Darwin with a pair of overnight flights.
Flight AB645 left the Sunshine Coast at 7:45pm aboard VH-UJK ‘Sheila’ on Wednesday night, arriving at 11:15pm Darwin time, and returned to the Sunshine Coast as flight AB646 at 1:31am, arriving at 5:10am local time. This is the first-ever direct service between the two destinations.
“Our partnership with Bonza has connected us to incredible destinations across Australia, and now the connection to Darwin opens up a world of new opportunities,” said Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Chris Mills.
“Our focus at Sunshine Coast Airport is to increase visitation to our region, and give locals more choice and flexibility to connect them with family, friends and loved ones.”
Bonza CEO Tim Jordan says the flights, which will operate twice per week, are the first stage of Bonza’s broader entry into the Northern Territory, which will also include services from the Gold Coast to Darwin and from Melbourne to Alice Springs.
“We know the Top End is often a bucket list destination and by introducing more affordable flights from $149 per person (one way), we’re making it easier for Aussies to explore more of their beautiful big backyard,” said.
“Our latest route is also more good news for the Sunshine Coast tourism industry as they welcome additional visitors ahead of the summer peak season.”
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 Gold Coast to Darwin will start on 1 December, and from Melbourne to Alice Springs on 12 December.
Bonza has this month begun its push out of NSW, Victoria and Queensland into the wider Australian market, having flown to Launceston for the first time on 21 November.
The airline launched its third base this month with its first flight from the Gold Coast to Townsville, the first of 14 new routes to be rolled out over the end-of-year period.
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.
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.