100,000 Passengers: Rockhampton Reckons its Bonza

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 6 Min Read
6 Min Read
A Bonza 737 on the taxiway at Rockhampton.
Photo Credit: Bonza

More than 100,000 customers have now flown in and out of Rockhampton with newest low-cost airline Bonza.

The budget carrier continues its mission to connect more Australians to their big backyard and support underserved regions.

In a country as vast as Australia, the ‘tyranny of distance’ becomes a major hurdle for those travelling from remote and outlying regions.

The Impact of Bonza on Regional Travel

In a nation which is historically harsh on new start-up airlines, Bonza Airlines has weathered the storm thus far.

The airline is steadily forging a niche for itself, particularly in transforming regional travel. The stated mission is to connect more Australians to their vast homeland.

Bonza has largely held to its goal of bringing accessibility and affordability to regions previously underserved by major airlines.

Accessibility for Remote Areas

For residents of remote towns like Muttaburra, located approximately 120 kilometers north of Longreach in Queensland, accessing affordable air travel was once a distant dream.

However, Bonza’s introduction of low-cost airfares has revolutionized travel options for families like Tammy Dagan’s.

The airline’s routes from Rockhampton Airport have opened up opportunities for residents of such towns to visit family and friends across the country.

Economic Benefits

Beyond enhancing accessibility, Bonza’s presence in regional airports has sparked needed economic growth. Rockhampton Regional Council reported a surge in passenger numbers following Bonza’s arrival.

This revelation is hopefully a portent of a newfound era of connectivity for Central Queensland. This influx of travelers not only benefits local businesses but also boosts tourism in the region. All in all it means economic prosperity for the local area.

Tammy Dagan’s Story

Tammy Dagan, a mother of four residing in Muttaburra, shares her experience of how Bonza Airlines has transformed her family’s travel opportunities.

Ms Dagan lives in the small Queensland town of Muttaburra. That’s about 120 kilometres north of Longreach and an eight-hour drive from Rockhampton Airport. 

The affordability of Bonza’s airfares, coupled with its user-friendly booking app, has enabled the Dagan family to plan and afford vacations that were previously out of reach.

Tammy recounts her children’s excitement during their first flight with Bonza and the memorable interactions they had with the airline staff.

“Using the app, I was stunned at the estimated price compared to all my other options and promptly booked our seats,” she said.

“The kids were nervous, excited and couldn’t believe it. Returning on ‘Bazza’ was a highlight as my (son) Nash started chatting with Bonza legend Fernando, which made me so proud and thankful.”

Bonza’s commitment to providing affordable air travel is evident with its starting fares ranging from as low as AUD $49 to $89 per person (one way).

This pricing strategy not only caters to budget-conscious travelers but also benefits single-income families. Like the Dagans, they can plan suitable holidays without stretching their budgets beyond limits.

A Bonza Boeing 737 climbs out after takeoff.
Photo Credit: Bonza

CEO Tim Jordan Comments

At the helm of Bonza Airlines is CEO Tim Jordan, whose vision is to connect friends and families across Australia through low-cost fares.

Jordan emphasizes that Bonza’s mission goes beyond profitability; it’s about bridging the gap between urban and regional areas. In so doing, it equips more Aussies with access to direct air travel.

Bonza’s expansion into regional airports like Rockhampton has significantly increased connectivity, allowing residents to travel to popular holiday destinations such as Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, and Sunshine Coast.

 This newfound accessibility not only benefits travelers but also stimulates tourism in both origin and destination cities.

A Bonza Airlines Boeing 737 on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Bonza Airlines

Bonza’s Contribution to Rockhampton

Boost in Passenger Numbers

Since Bonza’s inception in Rockhampton, the airport has witnessed a surge in passenger numbers, indicating a growing demand for affordable air travel in the region.

This surge not only reflects the success of Bonza’s operations but also highlights the willingness of locals to embrace new travel options.

Economic and Tourism Impact

The influx of travelers facilitated by Bonza Airlines has far-reaching economic implications for Rockhampton and its surrounding areas.

Local businesses, especially those in the tourism and hospitality sectors, stand to benefit from increased visitor spending.

Moreover, Bonza’s flights have put Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast on the map for domestic travelers, showcasing the region’s natural attractions such as the Great Barrier Reef and Great Keppel Island.

Future Prospects

Looking ahead, Bonza Airlines aims to sustain its momentum by continually expanding its route network and enhancing its services.

By focusing on maintaining affordable fares and improving customer experience, Bonza seeks to solidify its position as a leading provider of regional air travel in Australia.

Beyond economic gains, Bonza’s presence in regional communities brings intangible benefits such as increased social connectivity and cultural exchange.

By facilitating travel between distant towns and major cities, Bonza plays a vital role in fostering a sense of unity and belonging among Australians. And that, I guess, is bonza.

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By Len Varley Assistant Editor
Now the Assistant Editor with AviationSource, I have almost 40 years' experience in aviation, starting in Australian flight crew and training. I worked as CFI/Chief Pilot with 2 organisations and was also a CASA approved testing officer and aeronautics lecturer. This led to components procurement for civil operators and the RAAF, and then maintenance programming with a global airborne geo-survey operator.