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Exclusive: Bonza’s Flair planes will stay in Australia under dry lease

written by Jake Nelson | February 28, 2024

C-FLKC, dry-leased from Flair, has been renamed ‘Matilda’ and will permanently join the Bonza fleet. (Image: Bonza)

Bonza is shifting from a wet lease to a dry lease on its two Flair 737 MAX 8s, which have been given new Australian names and will be operated by Gold Coast-based crews.

C-FLKC and C-FLHI have been renamed ‘Matilda’ and ‘Bruce’ respectively, and will be re-registered under Australian numbers as their Canadian crews go home. They will become the fifth and sixth proper members of the Bonza fleet, servicing the low-cost carrier’s Gold Coast base.

“Bruce will be out of service for a short period while the aircraft registration is updated and will then be back in Aussie skies continuing to connect customers on unserved and underserved Bonza routes across Australia,” a Bonza spokesperson told Australian Aviation.

“Matilda will be having a short stint in Canada for ‘Spring Break’ to cover the busy flying period in the Northern Hemisphere before returning Down Under later in the year.”

Bonza had flagged naming its fifth aircraft ‘Matilda’ following the Australian women’s soccer team’s campaign in last year’s FIFA World Cup, while ‘Bruce’, according to CEO Tim Jordan, is “arguably one of the country’s most loved Aussie monikers”.


Australian Aviation also understands that both planes will be repainted in standard Bonza livery, replacing their hybrid Flair livery, when the airline has time to do so.

“I feel every Aussie knows a Bruce and we’re proud to have our very own Bruce join Bonza’s fleet. Like his companions, our purple army of fans on social media helped name this aircraft, with Bruce being one of the most requested names we’ve had,” said Jordan.

“The name is apt because we’re also encouraging Aussies to get off the Bruce Highway and onto Bonza’s Bruce with some great deals to be had within Bonza’s network of 21 destinations.”

Bonza is looking to grow its fleet to 10 by the end of the year and establish a fourth base, added Jordan.

“We are thrilled to welcome Bruce and Matilda to our fleet and they join Shazza, Bazza, Sheila and Malc. We will have more to say about our future fleet expansion when the time is right,” he said.

Bonza and Flair announced the wet lease agreement in August last year to support the new Gold Coast base, with the initial intention that Bonza would send its own planes and crews to Canada to support its sister airline during the Northern Hemisphere peak when it had a large enough fleet in its own right.

The carrier was later forced to delay the launch of Gold Coast flights until mid-December as it awaited CASA approval for the wet-leased planes and crews to fly under its Air Operator Certificate.

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Comment (1)

  • ok so if a B738 is flying back to Canada & then a few weeks later back to OZ< why couldn't it be chartered ? So crew would probably have a rest stop overnight in Hawaii after refueling probably in Fiji, but it woud not seem that hard.

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