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Thumbs up as Bonza brings budget travel back to Australian skies


US-backed Bonza Airlines is preparing to launch into an already crowded aviation market and take a slice of the market left vacant by the closure of Tiger Air.

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The low-fare independent airline with its thumbs up logo has yet to say how many jobs it will create, where it will be based or what routes it will compete on, but it intends to avoid the highly competitive Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne markets.

However, the regional and second-tier routes have been crying out for competition after both the major airlines slashed routes in recent years.

The airline, which is backed by 777 Partners, said it would use new, highly efficient Boeing 737-8 aircraft, enabling passengers to fly at ultra-low prices while significantly reducing their carbon footprint.

“Of the 15 largest domestic aviation markets in the world, Australia is the only country without an independent low-cost airline. Bonza’s entry will bring increased competition, providing greater travel choices for ordinary Australians,” the company said.

Bonza founder and chief executive Tim Jordan said the airline’s mission was to encourage more travel by providing more choices and ultra-low fares, particularly into leisure destinations where travel is now often limited to connections via major cities.

“Bonza will deliver enormous benefits to all Australians, but particularly to regional communities by providing new routes and greater travel opportunities,” he said.

“Bonza will also play a leading role in Australia’s post-pandemic economic recovery – creating jobs, stimulating travel and consumer spending and helping regional communities, especially those that rely on tourism, get back on their feet.”

Jordan previously worked for Virgin Blue and Cebu Pacific and has more than 25 years of aviation experience. Most recently, he was the architect and managing director of FlyArystan, the first low-cost carrier in Central Asia.

The backing from 777 Partners will also bring aviation experience with its involvement in Canada’s only independent low fare airline, Flair Airlines and the Southeast Asian-based Value Alliance.

777 Partners managing partner Josh Wander said there was a huge opportunity to both do good and do well by democratising air travel through lower costs.

“We want to increase consumer choice and make travel more affordable and more accessible for all Australians,” he said.

“We see huge potential in the Australian market to deliver the benefits and options that an independent low fare airline brings.

“Tim and his management team are the right people at the right time to deliver affordable airfares to the Australian market and we’re proud to partner with him.”

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