Bonza’s first flight from Tamworth to the Sunshine Coast launched last Saturday, and it was the 13th and final to launch as part of the low-cost carrier’s initial rollout from its home base. The airline is now operating 39 flights per week from its ‘backyard’ – Sunshine Coast Airport – including Albury, Avalon, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Mackay, Melbourne, Mildura, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Tamworth, Townsville and the Whitsunday Coast.
The new service between Tamworth and Sunshine Coast will operate twice weekly on Tuesday and Friday, with fares starting from $49 per person (one way).
Onboard the launch flight was Bonza’s Chief Commercial Officer Carly Povey, who hinted that there are more routes to come in the future.
“Today, we complete the rollout of our initial route map from our Sunshine Coast base. Customer feedback and support from the community has been phenomenal. Now all 13 routes are wheels up from the Sunny Coast, our team of legends are focussing on earning the right to grow,” said Povey.
From the first-ever Bonza flight on 31 January to Whitsunday Coast until the end of April, the airline carried over 60,000 travellers in and out of the Sunshine Coast. Some of the busiest routes include Sunshine Coast to Albury, Avalon, Cairns, Melbourne (Tullamarine) and Townsville.
“Forward bookings for winter, including the July school holidays, are also looking healthy, particularly as Victorians (like me) seek out winter sun in Queensland,” added Povey.
In terms of the onboard experience, customer feedback rates the cabin crew legends highly among the features of the brand-new aircraft, including charging and USB plugs on all seats. The all-Aussie menu ordered on-demand via the Fly Bonza app and delivered to customers’ seats is also a hit.
“Both our cabin crew legends and customers love the absence of a traditional trolley in the aisle. Nowhere ever have I heard a customer ask to bring back the trolley!” she added.
The most popular item on the all-Aussie menu is the Silver Tongue Foods lavash crackers – made on the Sunshine Coast. More than 65kg of these crackers have been sold – more than the weight of the Bonza aircraft’s four front nose wheel tyres.
Povey revealed that more than 790 litres of beer, or 16 kegs, has been sold onboard, including brews from Your Mates Brewing, Spinifex, Ballistic and Heaps Normal. Enough ‘Snags in a Bag’ have been sold that if laid end to end, they would be longer than six Boeing 737-8 aircraft. Proving travellers love a tipple, nearly 350L of Sirromet wine has been enjoyed onboard – about one and a half oak barrels. The Aussie Biscuits are also a hit – if the amount sold were stacked on top of one another, they would be taller than the top of the tail on Bonza’s aircraft.
To celebrate the launch milestone, customers from Tamworth were welcomed by a troupe of Sunshine Coast line dancers and musicians from the Gympie Music Muster – who are excited about the opportunities the new route brings to connect country music communities in both locations.
Travellers are encouraged to download the Fly Bonza app, the only place to book directly.