Bonza Airlines

The First Year with CEO, Tim Jordan

Recently the Greater Port Macquarie Tourism Association members and guests, had the pleasure of listening to CEO of Bonza, Mr Tim Jordan.

Since Tim’s appointment as CEO in 2021, a lot has happened at Bonza Airlines. In fact, it all started back in 2008, with Tim standing on his veranda in Urunga, looking at the skies, knowing Australians needed a more affordable airline than the planes flying across the sky.

Tim’s innovative approach is evident in Bonza’s structure, and with his extensive background in developing low-cost carriers, it’s clear he is making a mark in the aviation sector.

The journey wasn’t easy; the market was dominated by Virgin and Qantas, echoing the duopoly of Coles and Woolworths in the grocery sector. Despite scepticism and a lack of local investors, the opportunity arose during the pandemic to bring the dream alive. American investors, familiar with running a low-cost airline in Canada, decided to invest.

The airline, originally named Australian Domestic Regional Low-Cost Carrier, was rebranded to Bonza, announcing its launch on October 12th, 2021 to much surprise and uncertainty around the country.

Securing an operating certificate posed its challenges, especially with the introduction of the 737 MAX and new regulations around the aircraft, it was the first time in 15 years the authorities had had to complete the certification of an airline since Tiger Airways.

The process took longer than expected, with Bonza commencing services on January 31st, 2023.

In its first year, Bonza transported nearly 800,000 customers and sold over a million seats.  Tim acknowledges that not everything went or continues to go perfectly, and remains true to the company’s commitment to safety, high load factor, being on-time, and providing an on-board service with a café style vibe, providing Australian-sourced products, and at times regional products to their passengers.

The Melbourne – Port Macquarie service is a popular route, with three return flights every week. Bonza have carried more than 30,000 customers in the past year alone.

With the runway only 1800 metres long, just long enough to land the jets safely…keep your seatbelt nice and tight as the pilots use full automatic breaks to land.

Bonza may not be profitable yet, but there’s a vision for expansion, including potential services to Sydney, which could significantly impact regional connectivity.

Bonza is excited for the possibility of mirroring what they have achieved in Melbourne.  This would open up 20 more routes for the airline, 16 of which have no low-cost fares available at the moment.

This equals to around 2 million regional Aussies having access to flights to Sydney, and 6 million living in the Sydney basin, access to regional areas across the country.

Under Tim’s leadership, Bonza is carving out a new path in the Australian skies, striving to provide affordable air travel for more Australians and challenge the status quo.

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