The low-cost carrier began flights between Darwin and the Sunshine Coast this week and had planned to provide two return trips each week between the Gold Coast and Darwin.
Bonza said in a statement that it had to cancel the services due to “regulatory approval processes” that were impeding its attempt to lease and hire personnel for an aircraft.
“That process is progressing but is not yet complete, and as a result, we’ve had to make the regrettable decision to defer some flights between Gold Coast and Darwin in the coming weeks,” the airline said.
“We are acutely aware of the impact this has on our customers, and we are very sorry for this.”
Flights from Darwin to the Gold Coast will begin on 2 January 2024, according to Bonza.
Following Darwin, it was Avalon. Now, Bonza is cancelling flights between its newly opened third base, Gold Coast Airport, and numerous additional cities in Queensland and Victoria.
Services between the Gold Coast and Bundaberg, Gladstone, Cairns, the Whitsundays, and Mildura are all on the chopping board for Australia’s newest airline.
Furthermore, the airline indicated that it will be cancelling more flights on other routes this week.
Bonza CEO Tim Jordan indicated that the airline needs to employ more personnel for its new base.
“As we’ve previously shared, in the short term, we will use an aircraft leased from our partner Flair at our Gold Coast base whilst we recruit Aussie crew for this third base,” Jordan said.
“This arrangement brings with it a separate regulatory approval process. That process is progressing but is not yet complete and, as a result, we’ve had to make the regrettable decision to defer flights to/from Gold Coast to Darwin, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Avalon, Cairns, Whitsundays and Mildura and are also making some additional cancellations for this week to other routes.”
“Whilst remaining very committed to serving these markets, the new start date for the impacted routes is currently being worked through,” Jordan said.
“At this point, our priority is to inform our impacted customers as efficiently as possible so that they can make alternative arrangements,”
“Customers will be contacted by us in date order (based on their date of travel) and will be offered a full refund,” Jordan added.
The cancellations of Albury came just two weeks after Bonza inaugurated flights between the NSW city and the Gold Coast.
Bonza announced Gold Coast Airport as its third airline hub and second base in Queensland in August. The airline said two aircraft will begin service to 11 network destinations in November 2023, just in time for the summer holidays.
Bonza continues to operate some flights from the Gold Coast, including services to Townsville.
In July, the airline stated that, as of 1 August, it would discontinue five flights due to a lack of sustainable demand. These routes were Sunshine Coast to Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, and Tamworth. The airlines also cut services between Toowoomba to the Whitsundays and Cairns to Mackay.