Just six months after taking off in Queensland, Australia’s newest low-cost airline aiming to link regional destinations eliminates many unpopular routes and lowers the frequency of others.
The Queensland’s Sunshine Coast-based airline has announced it will cut five regional routes because of customer complaints about flight cancellations.
They connect the Sunshine Coast to Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Tamworth, Cairns, Mackay, and the Whitsunday Coast through Toowoomba Wellcamp.
On Thursday, Chief Commercial Officer Carly Povey said, “We are reducing some routes by one weekly flight.” This leaves twenty-two routes.
A new service will be every week between the Sunshine Coast and Albury, Melbourne (Avalon), and Port Macquarie. These are only three of the numerous high-performing routes.
The new changes will take effect on 1 August 2023. Those who have already purchased tickets for the cancelled routes will be notified and given the option of a full refund or rebooking on an alternate itinerary.
With a mission to “change the aviation environment for the better – for the many, not just the few,” Bonza’s CEO Tim Jordan said upon the airline’s January debut from the Sunshine Coast.
Ms Povey admitted, “Not everyone has had a good experience.”
She emphasised the need to investigate aircraft cancellations and delays.
Although schedule adjustments are common among airlines, this is the first time Bonza has altered its routes or frequency, and the company says it “wants to be transparent around the changes and why we feel they are really important to deliver on customer commitment.”
Flights will be reduced; Ms Povey said, “so we have a buffer when things don’t go to plan” with the airline’s four planes.
The second reason is that “by focusing on routes that are performing very well, we are also taking decisive action by going where the demand is and, in turn, setting Bonza up for the long haul – because competition in the airline industry is a good thing and the demand for Bonza is clear.”
She hinted at a fair sale occurring somewhere between late October 2023 and early April 2024.
“We’re also working to establish a third base, and with that will come new job opportunities and new routes to both existing and new destinations,” she added.