New low-cost airline Bonza to hit Australian skies next year

Bonza will commence service with two or three 737 MAX aircraft ©Boeing

Australia is on course to become home to a new, low-cost carrier, Bonza, which should begin operations in the second quarter of 2022. The new carrier has not yet settled on whether it will be based in northern New South Wales or southern Queensland. The intention is for it to operate on currently badly served routes or ones not served by its competitors. Those leisure-driven routes will ultimately be decided in part based on the financial incentives offered by airports.

Speaking about Bonza’s entry into market, the carrier’s CEO commented in a telephone interview with Reuters news agency: “This is not ‘me too’. We are not about stealing traffic from other carriers. This is about creating a brand-new market.”

Bonza is anticipating it will begin to sell tickets in the first quarter of 2022 and will be applying for its operator’s license from the Australian aviation regulator. Bonza will be competing against the likes of Qantas Airways, Virgin Australia and Regional Express Holdings, though there is no independent low-cost carrier serving the Australian market at present. The new carrier is being backed by 777 Partners, a private American investment firm which has backed Canada’s Flair Airlines, also a low-cost carrier. 777 Partners placed a firm order for 24 Boeing 737 MAX planes back in March this year, with options for a further 60 of the jets. Bonza will commence service with two or three 737 MAX aircraft.

“We see huge potential in the Australian market to deliver the benefits and options that an independent low-fare airline brings,” 777 Partners Managing Partner Josh Wander said in a statement. Tigerair Australia, once a competitor in that market and later bought by Virgin Australia, closed last year during the COVID-19 pandemic after reporting losses for multiple years.

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