It’s wheels up for Australia’s newest airline as Bonza hopes to fill an aviation niche by offering low-cost flights on under-serviced routes.
Speaking from the carrier’s base on the Sunshine Coast, CEO Tim Jordan said the first flight has been 14 years in the making.
“We’re here, we’re at the start line and we will be changing the aviation environment for the better, for the many … and not just the few,” he said.
Departing on Tuesday morning, the first flight is between the Queensland holiday destinations of the Sunshine and Whitsunday coasts.
“We’re a leisure-focused airline … some of those bells and whistles that are associated with business carriers, that’s not for us,” Mr Jordan said.
The route is the first of 27 to be gradually rolled out to a total of 17 destinations, with a focus on regional centres in eastern Australia.
Fares start at $49 and more than 10,000 tickets have been sold since going on sale on Friday.
The business model works when the fares stay low, Mr Jordan said.
“We look at an airline seat as the ultimate perishable item, as soon as that aircraft pushes back that’s a lost opportunity,” he said.
“We will be aiming to use as many seats … as we possibly can, because even if it’s $10 or $20 that somebody gives us, that’s $10 or $20 we won’t otherwise have.”
Bonza is the first high-capacity, low-fare startup in Australia for 15 years, Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.
“We look forward to seeing those skies full of purple tails,” he said, a nod to the airline’s distinctive branding.
(Australian Associated Press)