New Australian low-cost start-up airline Bonza has announced some route suspensions which will take effect from 1 August.
Having recently completed the rollout of its initial regional route network plan, Bonza has advised that it will suspend five routes which it says haven’t achieved sustainable demand at present.
This is effectively the first time the new carrier has made changes to frequency and routes, and in its recent statement it says that it aims to be transparent around changes and why the carrier feels they are important in order to deliver on customer commitment.
5 route changes
Bonza has identified five routes which do not presently demonstrate sustainable demand:
Sunshine Coast to Coffs Harbour, Sunshine Coast to Port Macquarie, Sunshine Coast to Tamworth, Cairns to Mackay and Toowoomba Wellcamp to Whitsunday Coast.
Twenty two routes remain in the original network plan and the airline is reducing some routes by one flight per week.
Three of the many strong performing routes, namely Sunshine Coast to Albury and Melbourne (Avalon) plus Melbourne (Tullamarine) to Port Macquarie, will welcome a new service each week.
Customers booked on routes impacted (from 1st August to 28th October) will be contacted by the airlines support team via SMS and will automatically receive a full refund or alternate flights with Bonza, depending on their scenario.
In a statement this week, the airline said: “To those customers who have or will face a cancelled flight – we apologise. You do not need to do anything as our team will be in touch.”
“Australia has been waiting for a new airline and you’ve welcomed us with open arms and it is on us to deliver more consistently. These changes allow us to maintain the many great aspects of the Bonza experience whilst also doubling down on consistently delivering reliability.”
Bonza explains that by removing some flying from their schedule, and going where there is demand, the airline is achieving two things.
Firstly, the changes will allow Bonza to build in additional spare capacity within the current fleet of four aircraft, allowing for a buffer when things don’t go to plan.
Secondly, by focusing on routes that are performing very well, the intention is to respond to demand and thus to set Bonza up for the long haul. The carrier notes that “competition in the airline industry is a good thing and the demand for Bonza is clear.”
The next step will see the new airline put on sale its late October to April 2024 schedule, which means travellers can book flights for their summer holidays, Christmas or Easter 2024.
The carrier is also currently working to establish a third base and with that will come new job opportunities and new routes to new destinations.
Bonza is a new Australian ultra-low-cost airline that commenced operations on 31 January 2023. The airline is headquartered on the Sunshine Coast and aims to predominantly serve under-utilised domestic and regional routes within Australia.
Bonza was founded by Tim Jordan, Lidia Valenzuela and Peter McNally, and Jordan is the CEO. The airline’s name is a play on the word “bonza”, which is an Australian slang term for “great” or “excellent”.
Bonza’s fleet currently consists of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, a narrowbody aircraft capable of flying short to medium-haul routes and carrying 186 passengers per aircraft.
Bonza’s initial route map included 27 routes to 17 destinations. With the recent suspension of five routes, 22 of the original network remain.