Aviation

Bonza! New independent, low-cost Aussie airline prepares for take-off in early 2022

A new airline that aims to fill the void left behind by the now-defunct Tigerair in Australia is planning to launch early next year.

According to its website, Bonza is an independent, low-cost carrier (LCC) that will allow Aussies “to see more of their own backyard”. So, in other words, the airline will be flying domestically, but not internationally.

Bonza is the brainchild of Tim Jordan, who has more than 25 years of aviation industry experience, most notably in low-cost airline operations.

Previously, Jordan was the managing director of FlyArystan, the first budget carrier in Central Asia, based in Kazakhstan. He successfully planned and launched the new airline in late 2018, which now has the largest market share of traffic in the Kazakh domestic market.

Jordan is also the former chief commercial officer of Philippines-based LCC Cebu Pacific Air, where he led the airline through a major transformation. And, prior to Cebu Pacific Air, Jordan was head of commercial distribution for Virgin Blue.

Bonza is slated for launch in early 2022, pending regulatory approval, and will be flying Boeing’s 737-8 aircraft.

The airline has the backing of US private investment firm 777 Partners, which announced in March the addition of 24 737-8s to the firm’s aviation portfolio, with purchase rights for an additional 60 aircraft.

The Miami-based company said it would place the single-aisle planes with its “growing portfolio of low-cost carrier investments around the world”, so you can only assume some of them will be for Bonza.

Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, Jordan said the airline wants to cater to Australia’s “tradies, teachers, kids and carers”, and will focus on flying to new destinations in addition to the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

“We’re for the everyday Australian…we won’t have the bells and whistles offering with lounges and frequent flyer programs,” Jordan said.

Bonza’s founder and CEO reckons there has always been an opportunity to launch a budget domestic carrier Down Under, but noted that the recent evaporation of the Tigerair brand meant the prospects of succeeding are now even better.

“The countries with the most aviation growth are those with independent, low-cost operators that can stimulate new markets that can’t exist if full-service carriers operate them,” he told SMH.

According to the Nine-owned masthead, Bonza has been in development for several years and Jordan will start putting the feelers out to over 45 Aussie airports.

“I think there will be a degree of hangover when the international restrictions are lifted that will see lower rates of international travel for much longer than there will be domestically,” he said.

“The rest of the world has shown Australia domestic markets recover rapidly when given the opportunity to do so.”

Bonza’s head office will be located “somewhere in regional Australia”, according to the airline’s website. And, given Jordan’s based in Coffs Harbour (as per his LinkedIn profile), Travel Weekly is guessing it’ll be somewhere on the NSW North Coast.

Jordan is also hunting for staff, so if you’re looking for work or keen to change jobs, you can register your interest in joining Bonza here.


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