australian aviation logo

Bonza pares back Gold Coast services after 5 months

written by Jake Nelson | April 22, 2024

Bonza’s sixth 737 MAX 8, “Bruce”, in hybrid Flair livery. (Image: Bonza)

Bonza is scaling back some services from the Gold Coast five months after launching its third base.

While all Gold Coast routes will continue to fly, some will see services as infrequently as once per week, though Albury, Darwin and Rockhampton will see no change to frequency. Bonza is currently flying its own aircraft from the Gold Coast, with both its dry-leased Flair planes otherwise occupied.

In total, Melbourne (Tullamarine) will go from four to one service per week; Townsville from five to three per week; Launceston, Mackay, Avalon, and Whitsunday Coast from three to two per week; and Mildura and Mount Isa from two to one service per week. In contrast, the Australian Financial Review has reported that flights between Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast will increase to five per week.

In a statement, a Bonza spokesperson stressed that no routes are being cancelled, and that the airline remains “committed to providing affordable and accessible air travel”.

“As we’ve always said, it’s standard practice within aviation, as with most industries, that a route/product needs to reflect the market demand and as such we’re adjusting our current capacity out of the Gold Coast to right size supply with demand from 1 May, 2024,” the spokesperson said.


“Bonza is an independent low-cost carrier in its second year of operations and we’ve had over 750,000 customers travel with us in our first year, many of whom were first time or infrequent flyers, together with returning customers.”

Bonza had difficulties launching numerous routes from its Gold Coast base late last year, with delays in CASA approval for its wet-lease agreement with Canadian sister airline Flair pushing back the start date to 19 December, though some services using Bonza’s own planes had commenced in November.

The airline says it is seeing solid demand for Gold Coast services.

“Acknowledging the Gold Coast had a challenging start, it’s very promising to see the routes we fly are wanted by customers, especially given eight of the eleven routes are brand new to the market,” the spokesperson said.

“This demonstrates that the Bonza model offering direct low-cost air travel to underserved or unserved markets is needed by the Gold Coast and will continue to grow and benefit Aussie travellers, their communities and local economies.”

The two wet-leased Flair 737 MAX 8s, C-FLKC and C-FLHI or “Matilda” and “Bruce” respectively, are shifting to a dry-lease arrangement, and will be operated by local crews from the Gold Coast.

Matilda has temporarily returned to North America to operate Flair flights, while FlightRadar data shows Bruce has not flown commercially since the end of February as it awaits recertification by CASA to fly under an Australian registration number.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

Leave a Comment

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.