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A new domestic airline is set to launch for Australians

Australian travellers will soon have an extra domestic airline service to choose from following news that Bonza has received its licence to fly.

The independent, low-cost carrier was granted its Air Operator Certificate from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority earlier this month, and it’s now set to offer a slew of new direct routes, many of which are unserviced by current operators Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin or Rex.

It means people on the Sunshine Coast will soon be able to fly direct for some Fun with people in Mildura; people in Cairns can fly direct for some Friendship with people in Rockhampton; and people in Newcastle can travel direct for some Fellowship with people on the Whitsunday Coast – to name just a few.

Bonza will operate out of two bases – Melbourne and Sunshine Coast – while initially servicing an additional 15 regional towns along the East Coast.

“This is an historic moment for Australian aviation as we get ready to launch the first high-capacity airline in more than 15 years, and the country’s only independent low-cost carrier,” said CEO of Bonza, Tim Jordan, a former Virgin executive who has founded the airline along with Lydia Valenzuela and Peter McNally. 

“The excitement for what we are about to deliver is palpable and the timing couldn’t be better. Demand for domestic travel is high and Aussies deserve for travel to be a basic right for many, not a luxury for the few. This has never been truer with today’s cost of living challenges. With the approval from CASA, 2023 is set to be the year of seeing more of your own backyard for less.”

While regulatory approval has been secured, Bonza is yet to announce when it will officially launch – but it’s expected to be in early 2023.

The airline’s initial offering will include 17 destinations and 27 routes covering Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The destinations include:

  • Melbourne Tullamarine (Bonza base airport)
  • Sunshine Coast (Bonza base airport)
  • Albury
  • Avalon
  • Bundaberg
  • Cairns
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Gladstone
  • Mackay
  • Mildura
  • Newcastle
  • Port Macquarie
  • Rockhampton
  • Tamworth
  • Toowoomba
  • Townsville
  • Whitsunday Coast

While the initial route offerings will include:

  • Melbourne to Bundaberg
  • Melbourne to Gladstone
  • Melbourne to Mackay
  • Melbourne to Mildura
  • Melbourne to Port Macquarie
  • Melbourne to Rockhampton
  • Melbourne to Sunshine Coast
  • Melbourne to Tamworth
  • Melbourne to Toowoomba
  • Sunshine Coast to Albury
  • Sunshine Coast to Avalon
  • Sunshine Coast to Cairns
  • Sunshine Coast to Coffs Harbour
  • Sunshine Coast to Mackay
  • Sunshine Coast to Mildura
  • Sunshine Coast to Newcastle
  • Sunshine Coast to Port Macquarie
  • Sunshine Coast to Rockhampton
  • Sunshine Coast to Tamworth
  • Sunshine Coast to Townsville
  • Sunshine Coast to Whitsunday Coast
  • Cairns to Mackay
  • Cairns to Rockhampton
  • Townsville to Rockhampton
  • Townsville to Toowoomba
  • Whitsunday Coast to Newcastle
  • Whitsunday Coast to Toowoomba

It’s worth noting that, unlike other Australian domestic carriers, Bonza won’t offer a website booking option. Rather, all customer bookings (with the exception of bookings made via registered travel agents) must be done through the Fly Bonza app. The app is already available for download to your smartphone and is worth keeping an eye on for updates.

“I’d like to thank our team of legends who have worked very hard to achieve [this] milestone working alongside CASA who do incredibly important work regulating Australian aviation. Now, our focus turns to connecting communities and we hope to see many Aussies onboard soon,” Jordan said.

For further information or for a link to download the app on both iPhones and Android devices, visit the Fly Bonza website.