Bonza still awaiting green light for take-off amid industry uncertainty

Bonza still awaiting green light for take-off amid industry uncertainty

Originally hoping to fly by mid 2022, Bonza has entered the sixth month of waiting for its ‘Air Operators Certificate’ from the Civil Aviation Safety Authorities (CASA).

This has led some potential clients to doubt whether the airline will be able to maintain it’s low cost, regional routes.

“I’m a little bit cynical, to be perfectly honest,” Townsville travel agent Debbie Rains said.

“There have been a lot of airlines in the past that have started some of these routes, and they just haven’t been sustainable. We just don’t have that population density, and certainly even less so in the regions, to be able to put a lot of bums on seats to really make these airlines viable.”

Although many locals were disappointed Bonza was not off the ground for the peak Christmas period, they are hopeful that the airline can maintain its promise of low cost flights. However, Doug Drury, head of aviation, Central Queensland University believes the surging global fuel prices may have an impact.

“Bonza’s low-fare model could drive down the cost of its competitors’ airfares down, at least in the short term,” Drury said.

“It could be quite a challenge to turn that into a profitable operation. But they are going after a niche market, and if they do that well, it will force change with REX and Virgin and Qantas.”

Bonza is backed by American equity firm 777-Partners with an investment of over AUD $300 Million and plans to operate a 27-route network in 17 regional locations through Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

The airline has already welcomed three of its aircraft in preparation for launch.

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