A new budget airline is expecting to take to the skies in Australia in the new year, offering “ultra-low” fares for the domestic market once COVID-19 travel restrictions ease, pending regulatory approval.
New entrant to the market, Bonza is backed by U.S. investment firm 777 Partners and headed by ex-Virgin Blue executive Tim Jordan. Virgin Blue later became Virgin Australia.
The new low-cost carrier is hoping to launch services in early 2022 with Boeing 737-8 aircraft. CEO and founder Jordan is hoping to capitalise on the expected surge in travel once COVID-19 restrictions ease.
“Bonza’s mission is to encourage more travel by providing more choices and ultra-low fares, particularly into leisure destinations where travel is now often limited to connections via major cities,” Jordan said.
Bonza’s ambition is broad, but it appears there will be a focus on regional communities, with new routes in the wings.
Australia’s low-cost aviation sector has been left with a hole to fill since Tiger Air, a Virgin Australia subsidiary, closed in September 2020.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Bonza boss Jordan said the airline would focus on “tradies, teachers, kids and carers.” At the same time, it will concentrate on opening up new destinations instead of just focusing on the popular Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane triangle.
“We’re for the everyday Australian…we won’t have the bells and whistles offering with lounges and frequent flyer programs,” Jordan told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
Jordan has more than 25 years of experience in the aviation industry and recently was the managing director of FlyArystan, the first low-cost carrier in Central Asia.
“We see huge potential in the Australian market to deliver the benefits and options that an independent low fare airline brings,” 777 Partners managing partner Josh Wander said in a statement.
Bonza will sport white and purple livery on its aircraft and plans to base its headquarters in regional Australia, with the exact location yet to be revealed.
The airline has said that it will be beginning discussions with lots of airports across Australia as it seeks to finalise its initial destinations, the company said on its website.
“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. The rest of the world has shown Australia domestic markets recover rapidly when given the opportunity to do so,” Jordan said, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.