Low-cost airline Bonza made headlines last year by promising to offer cheap flights between regional cities in Australia.
But almost a year later, passengers have yet to board a flight and the airline is still awaiting regulatory approval from the Civil Aviation Administration (CASA).
In October 2021, Bonza announced that it plans to launch a domestic low-cost airline with flights in early 2022. The airline’s Aussie tone was evident when Bonza called its first jet in the fleet – Shazza.
The airline is targeting the leisure market, with 80 percent of its routes not already covered by existing airlines.
CASA recently clarified the status of Bonza certification.
“We are continuing to work on the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) application submitted by Bonza in April,” it said in a statement.
“The airline has revised its flight schedule and is now working on a mid-October destination, but this is pending the resolution of several issues.
“A new AOC is a complex and detailed process to ensure Bonza meets the aviation standards expected by Australian travelers,” CASA said.
Regulatory assessment includes operations manuals, maintenance procedures, safety systems, and pilot and crew training.
That’s what Bonza CEO Tim Jordan said TND The airline respects the regulatory process and is happy to await the necessary approvals.
“In terms of timing, it would be wrong for us to say when this process will be complete,” Mr. Jordan said.
“The process is ongoing. We are definitely making positive progress. And we have incredible respect for this ongoing process with the regulator,
“We are happy when the supervisory authority is satisfied.”
Professor Rico Merkert, Chair of Transportation and Supply Chain Management at the University of Sydney, said the delays could be good for the airline from a branding and marketing perspective.
“These people want to be perceived as reliable service providers,” said Professor Merkert.
“Safety is very important to Australians, we know this from all kinds of surveys and studies, so getting CASA’s full stamp of approval is important.”
Although it is “in theory” economically viable for another airline to enter the market, Bonza needs to keep a close eye on the economy and the price of crude oil, Professor Merkert said.
“If we go into a recession, will people have enough disposable income to fly to these destinations? The other thing that might be more problematic is the price of kerosene,” he said.
“If you look at what’s happened in the last year or two, the price of crude oil has gone up … if that price of oil goes back up, say, something happens in Europe or elsewhere — maybe shortages — then that could pose a real problem for.” Bonza.”
Bonza’s chief commercial officer Carly Povey told ABC that the airline has a relaxed uniform policy.
“Tattoos, that’s fine with us”
“A non-gender uniform that encompasses all Australians and allows them to be who they want to be at work and be smart but also be comfortable and have fun,” Ms Povey said.
“We’re not going to make people wear tights; We’re not going to tell you to wear a skirt if you’re a woman… if they have tattoos, we’re fine with that.”
Ms Povey said Shazza, the company’s first plane, landed at its Sunshine Coast base in August.
“Shazza has some friends in Victorville right now who are undergoing painting and applying some Bonza touches,” Ms. Povey said.
Bonza advertises itself as an “independent” alternative to the other airlines.
‘Create a new mask’
“This isn’t about taking traffic from an existing operator,” Mr Jordan said. “This is about creating a new market. These people don’t generally fly, and we’re talking about the occasional traveler.”
Virgin declined to comment when asked about Bonza.
Rex has been contacted for comment.
A Jetstar spokesman said: “Jetstar customers have enjoyed great value fares across our extensive network of domestic and international destinations for more than 18 years.”
“We remain committed to our mission of always offering low fares, so more people can fly to more places, more often.”