Bonza is set to launch five routes by the end of February as it staggers the rollout of its network across the country.
The airline finally put tickets on sale on Friday and has kept to its promise to keep fares low, with four routes starting from $49.
Australian Aviation’s Daniel Croft will be on the very first flight from the Sunshine Coast to Whitsundays on 31 January.
The full details of Bonza’s early network are at the bottom of this article. You can also listen to our exclusive podcast interview with CEO Tim Jordan, above.
Bonza initially planned to launch with a fleet of two to three MAXs before increasing its ambitions to target eight.
When Bonza does begin commercial operations, it will fly so-called ‘point-to-point’ leisure services not serviced by the capital city-focused Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin, and Rex.
Bonza said 93 per cent of its final network — 25 out of its 27 routes — are not currently flown by any other airline, while 96 per cent are not served by any other low-cost carrier.
The airline was hoping to launch last winter, but waited far longer than expected to receive its crucial licence to fly from CASA, which came through earlier this month.
Its first aircraft, VH-UJT, was named Shazza; its second, VH-UIK, Bazza; and its third, VH-UJK, Sheila.
Chief commercial officer Carly Povey said, “Today, we start making travel a possibility for the many, not the few. Forget connecting flights or your bum going numb in the car; Bonza is here to take Aussies from A to B without the C (cost and complexity)
“It’s important that Aussie travellers know we’re on sale, not having a sale. We’re committed to low-cost fares, which will in turn, stimulate new markets for Australia’s domestic tourism industry.
“We’re confident whenever customers choose to travel, all our fares and not just our starting fares will represent great value.”
Bonza said routes from its second base in Melbourne would go on sale “in a matter of weeks”.
Earlier this month, Bonza CEO Tim Jordan told the Australian Aviation Podcast his airline would be able to keep costs down compared to its rival because it will operate a fleet of 737 MAXs.
It comes despite fares hitting record highs due to a combination of high fuel prices and the industry holding resources in reserve to mitigate delays caused by staff shortages. Bonza had previously promised fares could be as low as $50.
“We will be pretty close to the headline numbers that we put out there,” Jordan told host Adam Thorn. “We do have the most fuel-efficient and youngest fleet in Australian skies so there are absolutely benefits for us coming to the market with brand new aircraft.
“There is certainly cost of living pressures everywhere, and while that may have some impact in terms of the pricing, it’s certainly not going to be overly material.
“There is a silver lining to our business model in that filling up your car costs you a small fortune, which probably leads more customers towards flying.”
Premium Content subscribers can read our exclusive look inside the launch of the airline here.
Route / launch date / flights per week