Australia has a new low cost carrier and its name is Bonza. You might think that’s a strange word, but in Australian slang it means very good, excellent or top notch. Perhaps it is a fitting name for an airline!
Unlike previous entrants to the Aussie domestic market, the new upstart is not taking on the big boys out of the major capital cities. Instead it is going to fly unserved holiday routes at very competitive prices.
All About Bonza
The airline has three Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft in the fleet, named Bazza, Shazza and Sheila, just to keep with the Australian theme. These are the first of the type to be flying down under and each feature 186 seats, all economy.
Seat pitch is 73cm or 28.75 inches throughout, apart from extra leg room in row 1, 14 and 15 (Stretch Plus with 20cm extra), and row 2, 3 and 4 (Stretch, with 10cm extra). On board there is Wi-Fi so you can order off the app, which you need to use to order any food and drinks on board. By the way, Cabin Crew are referred to as Bonza Legends! (again with the slang, but in Australia if a person refers to someone as a legend, it’s a very high compliment indeed, denoting that is a great person).
Bonza is based at Maroochydore airport on the Sunshine Coast, which is coincidentally the first place I flew on my first flight ever. They won’t be serving all the routes daily, some are a couple of times per week, but since none are currently served it will no doubt be a boon for people in those cities.
But You Can’t Book Online!
One of the more interesting quirks about this airline is that you cannot make a booking via the Bonza website. Yes, you read that correctly, nobody can make a booking on the web. You absolutely must download the app.
Now I don’t know about you, but I never book travel on an app. Besides being much faster at navigating a laptop, I often need to use multiple windows to compare prices. I’ll be interested to see how this goes, however it must be said they do also take bookings via Travel Agents.
It’s great to see a new airline in Australia, and one that is trying to do something different. Since deregulation, there have been a string of airline failures, as well as a number of carriers that were absorbed into the existing duopoly.
By not competing directly with the incumbents, Bonza should hopefully carve out a niche and make some money. Here’s hoping they do well for themselves!
Will you be flying Bonza anytime soon? What do you think of their strategy? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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OK. I never knew what Bonza meant until I saw Robert Irwin on Jimmy Fallon’s show bringing all the animals guaranteed to freak Jimmy out. Jimmy asked how Robert was doing and he said “Beaut Bonza!” then had to explain what it meant. Charming little TV moment. I like the name Bonza, totally Australian and fun to say even if you don’t the meaning. Unlike some others I could mention: U-Land and SCAT.
Hahaha! Yeah, Bonza is fun. Be interesting to see if the airline makes it 🙂