Australia’s newest ultra-low-cost airline Bonza is a step closer to launching sales and starting operations. The carrier has been granted its Air Operator Certificate (AOC), the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) announced on January 12. Bonza cleared for launch after receiving AOC.

CASA said that Bonza had submitted all the final documents and successfully completed proving flights after filing its application earlier in the year. Bonza had hoped to receive the AOC in early 2022 and start operations in Q2, then delayed the launch to September until the AOC slipped into the new year.

‘Our assessment includes a thorough examination of technical documentation as well as verification and testing”, CASA Director of Aviation Safety and CEO Pip Spence said in a media statement. “The process examines whether the airline has the facilities, processes and appropriately trained personnel to comply with their operations manual.”

Bonza CEO Tim Jordan welcomed the announcement by CASA in a press conference today. He said that the airline is now finalizing preparations for the first flights and launch ticket sales. Bonza said that it will initially offer flights on 27 routes to 17 destinations, starting with services from its Sunshine Coast base before adding flights from Melbourne.

The carrier targets routes and destinations that are currently underserved. Eighty percent of its routes are not served by any airline and 96 percent are not by any other low-cost airline, like its competitors Virgin Australia and Rex. The network is to include Albury, Cairns, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Toowoomba Wellcamp, and Whitsunday Coast, to name a few. Bonza says it will offer tickets for $50.

Bonza is owned by 777 Partners, a Miami-based investment company that has been expanding its aviation activities in the past few years. The first airline it launched in 2018 was Flair, a Canadian ULCC that operates in Canada and the US. Bonza followed in October 2021. According to Boeing’s backlog, 777 Partners has placed five consecutive orders for in total 134 Boeing MAX, including the -8 and 30 MAX 8200. The high-density version was part of an order for 66 aircraft at last July’s Farnborough Airshow.

Bonza took delivery of the first MAX 8 in August and received its third aircraft on December 9. The fleet will initially grow to seven aircraft, 777 Partners said last year, but this has since then been revised to nine.

 

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News. From January 2023, he will add a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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