Aviation

Qantas CEO airs doubts about Bonza’s ability to service new routes

James Harrison

Speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific 2021 Aviation Summit, Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce (featured image), said the airline will take a strong position against Bonza and questioned the budget airlines ability to service routes currently unserved by existing carriers.

“I would have thought we had most of them covered,” Joyce said.

“Maybe we don’t and that’s great if they find a unique value proposition that they can make money on…. shame on us because we’ve missed it.”

Joyce also said at CAPA that he could not see where Bonza would find unserved routes after the Qantas group launched nearly 50 new domestic services in the past 18 months.

In an interview with Travel Weekly, Bonza CEO, Tim Jordan, said that Bonza plans to offer a leisure alternative to currently served routes and provide for unserved routes, which will be announced going into 2022.

“Our proposition is really about low frequency, it’s about new market, it’s very different to Qantas,” he said.

“They are very focused on business travel, they are very focused on frequency and we are, whole-heartedly, very unashamedly, focused on the leisure traveller and growing tourism demand and visiting friends and relatives demand.”

As to whether Bonza has an action plan if Qantas were to start flying on these currently unserved routes once the new airline has launched, Jordan said Bonza doesn’t expect significant competitor reaction if a market hasn’t been serviced for many years.

“I would find it very strange if all of a sudden an existing airline suddenly had great interest in those markets,” he said.

This comes as Bonza announced at CAPA that it will operate up to eight aircraft in its first 12 months of operation.

These aircraft will be the 737 MAX 8 and they’ll be leased from 777 Partners.

The aircraft will each have 186 economy seats onboard and, according to Bonza, are highly fuel-efficient which will help keep fares low for future travellers, while also delivering less emissions than older aircraft.

Bonza intends to fly between each destination two or three times a week, meaning eight aircraft could support around 40 different routes.

Bonza still needs Civil Aviation Safety Authority clearance to start flying. Going into liftoff, Jordan said the airline’s plan depended on state borders remaining open next year and travel demand recovering from the pandemic as expected.

Bonza will announce its home base and first routes early next year, ahead of starting operations in the second quarter.


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