In the mid-morning cloud of Maroochydore, sounds of a didgeridoo bellow out as Lyndon Davis from the Gubbi Gubbi Mob welcomes Bonza Airlines’ first Boeing 737 Max 8 to Queensland.
The first of many for Bonza, Australia’s newest airline!
Bonza is quickly winning over the hearts of Aussies everywhere. Its affordable fare structure, connectivity to regional towns and very Australian approach to providing quality service could see it eclipse competing low-fare airlines. With deadlines fast approaching, Bonza welcomed its first aircraft at the Sunshine Coast Airport this morning.
“It’s hard to describe the feeling when your first aircraft touches down on Aussie shores – to its new home at Sunshine Coast Airport,” shared Tim Jordan, Bonza Airlines chief executive officer, on LinkedIn.
It’s been an uphill battle for the airline, with many sceptics claiming that the Sunshine Coast based airline would never get off the ground. Tim Jordan, Bonza Airlines CEO, shared a short but emotional message to his LinkedIn network of just over 4000 people.
“To our team of Bonza legends, and our partners, thank you doesn’t come close to summing up my thoughts on what you’ve all made possible…..”
Known for his laid-back, down-to-earth persona, Tim Jordan and Bonza Airlines are fast becoming Australian cult icons. Famed for allowing aircrew to “wear what they want” and promoting comfort and expressionism over conformity and tradition, the start-up airline is here to disrupt Australian airspace.
Flight AB 001 landed successfully this morning in “Bonza’s backyard” on the ironically-named Sunshine Coast. While the sun didn’t grace the new airline with its presence, the flight marks a landmark moment in the airline’s history and Australian aviation.
The plane completed the 1,671 miles (2,690-kilometres) journey from the States, leaving Seattle and passing through Honolulu and Nadi before reaching its destination in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast. It’s the first time a Max aircraft has landed at the regional base. Despite the hurry to launch, there’s still no official word on when we can expect to see more Bonza-bound Boeing’s arrive in Australia.
Initially working towards a mid-year start, the airline has run into multiple delays forcing them to announce a potential wheels-up day in September. However, with just one aircraft in Australia and interior work yet to be complete, the Aussie low-fare airline faces an uphill battle to get the show off the ground in time.
Pending regulatory approval, the airline expects to ferry Aussie travellers to an initial 17 destinations on 27 routes around Australia.
The start-up airline has been running a competition on social media in the last month, offering their fan base and keen followers a chance to name their aircraft. With an aircraft such as the Boeing 737 Max 8 and an airline famed for its Aussie humour, you can only imagine the fun Tim Jordan will have choosing names. The only question left to answer is, will the next Max 8 be a fella or a sheila?
Will you be flying Bonza later this year? We’d love to hear about it!