Bonza Airlines launches low-cost flights to Australia
A new Australian low-cost airline, Bonza, launched its first flight on Tuesday, promising cheap tickets, craft beer, hot dogs and a laid-back approach to crew uniforms.
Branding itself as Australia’s de facto airline and the nation’s only independent low-cost airline, Bonza names its first three Boeing 737-8 MAX planes Shazza, Bazza and Sheila.
Tickets, which can only be booked on the airline’s mobile app, cost between AU$49-79 (US$35-$56) – too cheap to be profitable, according to one analyst.
The first flight took off from Bonza’s base on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to the Whitsunday Islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.
Bonza CEO Tim Jordan marked the launch of the Sunshine Coast by speaking to the media dressed in sneakers, purple socks, dark shorts and a floral print short-sleeved shirt. .
“We talk about the many, not the few. We want to visit friends and family and that’s our focus,” Jordan told Channel Nine news.
“That’s good for stimulating competition across the country.”
Bonza, branded as “Here for Allstralia” and backed by US investment firm 777 Partners, said it plans to serve 17 destinations primarily in the region.
It boasts a purple-themed combo crew uniform that includes sneakers, a t-shirt, and shorts, and there are no rules about hairstyles, lipstick, or tattoos.
The menu on board includes craft beer, non-alcoholic beer and “snag in a bag”—a sausage rolled in bread.
But despite the recovery in air travel demand since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bonza could face significant headwinds.
Neil Hansford, aviation analyst at Strategy Aviation Solutions, said the airline could die if it doesn’t change its business plan.
Its business model is to fly to secondary cities on the new 737-8, “budget” fares and mobile app-Booking only is not sustainable, he told AFP.
“They die or they have to come back to a more reality business plan” said Hansford.
© 2023 AFP
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