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Bonza celebrates first full year of operation

written by Jake Nelson | January 8, 2024

Bonza "Bazza"
Bonza’s second 737 MAX ‘Bazza’ awaiting the airline’s inaugural flight in the Sunshine Coast in January 2023.

Bonza is this week marking one year since it received CASA clearance to begin flying.

The low-cost carrier, which was granted its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) on 12 January 2023, has since completed what it bills as the largest network rollout in Australian aviation history. It now flies 38 routes to 21 destinations in five states and territories.

“The competitive landscape in Australian aviation changed for the better when Bonza received its AOC, and we continue our Shazza vs Goliath battle to democratise the aviation sector across the country with a promise to deliver low-cost airfares to the many, not the few,” said CEO Tim Jordan, who last week pledged the airline would offer “significant savings” to passengers this year.

“It’s expected that the cost of living pressures on Aussie households will continue into 2024 and we’re doing what we can to keep the cost of air travel low,” he said.

“We expect that the Bonza Effect will bring considerable savings to domestic travellers this coming year and we’re proud to continue delivering opportunities for more of us to see more of Australia.”

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Bonza last month claimed it had flown 650,000 passengers in 2023, telling Australian Aviation in September it had seen load factors above 90 per cent during peak periods.

“Travellers have embraced our mission – to connect more Aussies to their own backyard than ever before – as their own,” said Jordan in December.

“The stories that have resonated with me most have been of the countless families and friends reuniting more often and first-time fliers seeking adventures in new destinations because that is in Bonza’s DNA.

“More than 1.5 million Aussies have downloaded the Fly Bonza app, showing that Aussies are embracing a new way of travelling with our app-first approach as we revolutionise domestic travel.”

Bonza has had a rocky relationship with CASA, having initially planned to launch in late 2022 before being forced to push back its start date to January 2023 due to a lengthy AOC approval process.

More recently, the airline launched late from its Gold Coast base due to delays in CASA approval for its wet-lease arrangement with Canadian sister airline Flair, and has twice pushed back the commencement of its Gold Coast–Darwin services, now slated to begin in March.

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