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Bonza flies 300,000 Melbourne passengers in first year

written by Jake Nelson | April 8, 2024

Victor Pody shot this Bonza 737 MAX 8 at Melbourne Airport.

Bonza has marked one year of operation from its Melbourne base, saying it has flown 300,000 passengers in and out of Tullamarine in the first 12 months.

The airline launched its second base at Melbourne Airport on 30 March 2023 and now serves 11 destinations from the city, including seven not served by any other carrier and nine not served by any other low-cost carrier.

Bonza claims to have saved Melbourne travellers $100 million in its first year of operation, when comparing its fares to the previous lowest available fares for its seven new markets of Tamworth‚ Bundaberg‚ Toowoomba‚ Gladstone‚ Rockhampton‚ Mackay and Port Macquarie as at August 2022.

“We are delighted Melburnians have embraced our mission to connect more Aussies to their backyard than ever before as we continue to see strong growth across our Melbourne network,” said Bonza CEO Tim Jordan.

“Many of our customers are first-time travellers‚ infrequent fliers and returning customers who are now able to connect directly to new and previously unserved or underserved destinations across our backyard because of our low-cost airfares‚ which is a big win for domestic tourism.”

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Lorie Argus, CEO of Melbourne Airport, congratulated Bonza on its first year and said it had “delivered on its promise of low-cost flight connections for all Australians”.

“As a brand-new airline‚ Bonza has really made a mark on Australia in just 12 short months. Along with growth in other states‚ it has expanded its network from nine routes to and from Melbourne to 11 routes‚ and many of these routes were underserved or didn’t exist at all‚” she said.

“Bonza has provided passengers with more affordable travel options and made it easier for Australians to connect with friends and family.

“We are immensely proud of the partnership we have developed with Bonza‚ and we look forward to their continued growth and success in the years to come.”

Bonza also says it has flown more than 50,000 passengers to and from Mildura, in Victoria’s Sunraysia region, since its first flight on 4 April last year, with Jordan saying the services have opened up connections to Melbourne, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

“I’ve spoken to many locals who live in and around Mildura and they’ve told me that the service we provide has made a positive impact on their lives and the region‚” he said.

“I know we haven’t always gotten it right but it’s feedback like this that keeps us striving to provide the best affordable and accessible air travel for the many‚ not the few.”

According to Mildura Airport CEO Trevor Willcock, Bonza has contributed to the airport breaking monthly passenger records in the early months of this year.

“Bonza has helped the airport open direct connectivity to Queensland for the first time in our history and local residents are very complimentary about their expanded flight options,” he said.

“I am looking forward to the next 12 months and beyond and am very grateful for the community’s support of this fantastic new airline.”

Bonza celebrated its first anniversary of operations in January, saying it had flown a total of around 750,000 passengers since its first flight on 31 January 2023.

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