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Bonza’s reputational loss is Qantas and Jetstar’s gain, says YouGov

written by Jake Nelson | May 16, 2024

Qantas, Jetstar, Bonza and Virgin Australia aircraft on the apron at Sunshine Coast Airport. (Image: Sunshine Coast Airport)

Jetstar and Qantas have seen a boost in public perception after Bonza went into voluntary administration last month, a YouGov survey has found.

According to data from YouGov’s BrandIndex survey, most Australians have heard of the suspension of Bonza services, with perceptions of the embattled airline taking a sharp nosedive after it abruptly suspended all flights at the end of April.

“The Queensland-based carrier’s Buzz score (which measures whether consumers have heard more positive or negative things about a brand in the past two weeks) plunged around 16 points from 4.2 on Apr 1 to -12.1 by May 8 – entering negative territory a day after it suspended services on Apr 30, indicating that consumers heard more negative than positive things about the airline,” the firm said.

“Except for Scoot (the low-cost arm of Singapore Airlines) – which also inched downwards from 0.9 on Apr 1 to -0.1 by May 8 – other major airlines operating in Australia either saw improvements or largely maintained their buzz scores over the same period.

“Jetstar and Qantas, which had negative buzz scores at the start of April, saw the largest jumps of 6.6 points (-2.4 on Apr 1 to 4.2 on May 8) and 5.6 points (-0.6 on Apr 1 to 5.0 on May 8) respectively, while Virgin Australia and AirAsia saw slight increases of 1.7 (12.7 on Apr 1 to 14.4 on May 8) and 1.0 (0.1 on Apr 1 to 2.1 on May 8) respectively.”

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Bonza’s Recommendation score, tracking how likely consumers are to either recommend or tell others to avoid the brand, plunged from 3.2 on Apr 1 to -7.9 by May 8, with Scoot and AirAsia also seeing slight dips over the period.

“In contrast, the number of Aussies who would recommend Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin have grown. Jetstar saw the largest improvement of 7.2 points, from 5.1 on Apr 1 to 2.1 by May 8,” YouGov reported.

“Virgin Australia, which saw a smaller improvement of 2.6 points, from 26 on Apr 1 to 28.6 by May 8, remains by far the most recommended carrier of the list.”

Scoot is at the bottom of the list of airlines Australians would consider on their next trip, at 4.6 per cent on May 8, followed by Bonza at 6.5 per cent, according to the data.

“On the other hand, consideration for Qantas saw the largest improvement of 7.7 percentage points over the period – from 29.5 per cent on Apr 1 to 37.2 per cent by May 8 – and leads the other carriers on this list as of early May,” reported YouGov.

“Virgin Australia, previously the most considered of the pack in early April, is now in second place (34.8 per cent), followed by Jetstar (24.8 per cent).”

Qantas declined to comment.

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