Bonza announces September launch, reveals plans for app-based bookings

Image: Bonza

Australian low-cost start-up Bonza will be launching operations in September 2022 with three Boeing 737 Max 8s, according to the carrier’s CEO Tim Jordan.  

The launch was initially slated for Q2 2022, however, Bonza has decided to push back plans once again.  

The carrier will be based at Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY), around 90 kilometers (56 miles) from Brisbane, and expects to expand its fleet gradually to eight MAX 8s during the first year following the launch, Jordan was quoted as saying by Flightglobal on May 20, 2022. 

Bonza will attempt to compete with the larger and more dominant Australian carriers by offering ultra-low fares for direct services across an initial 17 destinations and 27 routes in the country. The focus will be on point-to-point travel, rather than flying with a stop in major Australian cities, a business model favored by other Australian airlines.   

In its open letter to Australian travelers released on May 18, 2022, Bonza’s chief commercial officer, Carly Povey revealed that the start-up carrier will adopt a booking model similar to Uber, where travelers will book tickets for flights, communicate with customer service, and make payments directly via an app instead of using a typical flight booking system on the airline’s website. 

“The app helps to keep fares and carbon emissions low – enabling Bonza to pass on the savings to customers who can expect to pay around $50 for every hour they’re in the air,” the airline’s statement reads. 

Bonza, which was founded in 2021, intends to cut costs by removing features such as airport lounges and frequent-flyer programs that are broadly used by the airline’s existing competitors. While intensively preparing for the upcoming opening, the carrier aims to hire airline staff furloughed by other airlines during the global COVID-19 pandemic.  

In late March 2022, Bonza launched a recruitment drive to fill 200 flight crew and cabin crew positions. 

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