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Exclusive: Bonza break-even ‘not so far away’, says CEO

written by Jake Nelson | February 1, 2024

Bonza CEO Tim Jordan with ‘Bazza’. Credit: Peter Wallis

Bonza CEO Tim Jordan has said the airline is “not so far away” from breaking even, despite only being in operation for a year.

Speaking to Australian Aviation for an upcoming podcast, he admitted “no airline in the world is turning a profit with six aircraft” but believed the business could target a fleet of 10 by the end of the year. 

“There was an expectation in the market historically that you needed 15 or 20 aircraft to actually get yourself to break even or better,” he said. “That is not the case in terms of how Bonza operates and our financials. It is significantly less than that.

“So we are on the path, but it is a journey. And yes, we don’t get everything right, we miss a few steps, we learn some lessons, but very positively we’re on an upward trajectory and we’re on the way.”

Jordan was talking to Australian Aviation to mark the first anniversary since Bonza started operations. However, he also revealed that, before launch, many local investors did not believe a new entrant would be allowed to “survive, let alone thrive” against the Qantas-Virgin duopoly.


“Australia was the only market without an independent low-cost carrier for the last decade, and of the 15 largest markets, Australia was the only one which didn’t have an independent low-cost operator. So, they could see the big picture strategic imperative for that,” he said.

“We want to be well on our way to profitability this year. That’s the challenge that we have – we know that we wouldn’t exist without our investors. I spent 12 years looking for Australian investors, and we have an investor who can see the opportunity.

“But ultimately, they want to go on a journey towards a return on their investment, and 2024 is significant in that regard. So we’ve got to go on that journey, because it’s important for us to do so.”

Jordan said that, with 2023’s launch phase out of the way, the focus for Bonza in 2024 will be “bedding in” its current fleet and network before looking to build.

“We built the frame of the house, we’ve now got to make the house beautiful. That is our path, we need to be well on our way towards profitability, and that’s what 2024 is all about,” he said.

“So, taking a lot of what we’ve learned what we’ve already put in place, extending that where we see the opportunities, but ultimately, it’s a case of moving our way through the numbers to a position of profitability.”

Bonza this week celebrated the first anniversary of its inaugural flight, saying it had moved 750,000 people over the 12 months since 31 January, 2023.

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