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Australia’s newest low-cost airline Bonza has officially taken to the skies – a cheap and cheerful no-frills carrier with limited leg-room… but you get what you pay for.

Tickets for the new airline, which hopes to break the stranglehold of Jetstar and Virgin, went on sale last week. 

Already, more than 10,000 seats have already been sold, with flights starting from $49 to $79 one way for the Sunshine Coast-based airline.

Bonza is very focused on its ‘Australian’ image – with all staff referred to as ‘Bonza legends’.

Even its fleet is named in the most ocker way possible, with the three planes on the Sunshine Coast to the Whitsundays route named Bazza, Shazza and Sheila 

Here’s what Daily Mail Australia learned what to expect from Bonza, after we hopped on the new budget carrier’s first flight.

Australia's newest low-cost airline Bonza officially took flight with first trip from the Sunshine Coast to the Whitsundays on Tuesday

Australia’s newest low-cost airline Bonza officially took flight with first trip from the Sunshine Coast to the Whitsundays on Tuesday

Bonza's first trip saw 161 jetsetters take their seats on Australia's newest airline - which our correspondent found cheap and cheerful

Bonza’s first trip saw 161 jetsetters take their seats on Australia’s newest airline – which our correspondent found cheap and cheerful

Their fleet is named in the most Down Under way possible, with the three planes taking passengers from the Sunshine Coast to the Whitsundays named, Bazza, Shazza and Sheila

Their fleet is named in the most Down Under way possible, with the three planes taking passengers from the Sunshine Coast to the Whitsundays named, Bazza, Shazza and Sheila

What to expect when flying Bonza

The moment you set foot on the plane it is a little squishy, with minimal legroom in all seats that aren’t next to emergency exits. 

But while it isn’t as flashy as some other carriers, you get what you’re paying for.

Passengers book, check-in, order food and get in-flight entertainment through the Bonza app, which can be accessed on board by scanning the QR code in front of you.

The food and drinks menu was the most popular feature, loved by all on the inaugural flight as many passengers drew comparisons to the service being like Uber Eats in the air.

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Food and beverages on board featured Australian regional produce, with beers and food all sourced locally. 

As for entertainment there are games, music, comics, colouring stencils and even merchandise – purple Bonza budgie smugglers – that can be purchased in the air.

From booking, to checking in, to ordering food and in flight entertainment the Bonza app is where it is all done

From booking, to checking in, to ordering food and in flight entertainment the Bonza app is where it is all done

The food and drinks menu was the most popular feature, loved by all on the inaugural flight as many passengers drew comparisons to the service being like Uber Eats in the air. Food and beverages on board much like the airline focus on Australian regional produce, with beers and food all sourced from local Australian breweries and locally sourced

The food and drinks menu was the most popular feature, loved by all on the inaugural flight as many passengers drew comparisons to the service being like Uber Eats in the air. Food and beverages on board much like the airline focus on Australian regional produce, with beers and food all sourced from local Australian breweries and locally sourced

Customers can even buy Budgy Smugglers on board the flight

Customers can even buy Budgy Smugglers on board the flight 

The entire aircraft is economy class and aims itself at getting its passengers from point A to B with minimum frills and stress.

The business is currently headquartered out of the Sunshine Coast – meaning it does not have the exact same selection of routes typically offered by Jetstar or Virgin.

‘It’s about getting people flying who don’t currently fly and fly non stop to regional regions,’ Bonza chief executive Tim Jordan said upon launch.

Mr Jordan said the airline will target communities which have not been serviced to date, with the carrier placing its focus on regional communities, and promising the low fares are here to stay. 

‘Whether you are snorkelling the Whitsunday Islands or grabbing a cold one in the craft beer capital of Australia – the Sunshine Coast – we are humbled to take you there.

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‘Today’s milestone flight comes at a time where demand is high for Aussies to explore their own backyard.’

Mr Jordan said the airline is confident it can keep prices down. 

New budget airline Bonza will fly a total of 17 routes including 13 from its base on the Sunshine Coast (pictured)

The budget airline will fly a total of 17 routes including 13 from its base on the Sunshine Coast (pictured)

‘We’re a leisure focus airline and we don’t have those bells and whistles of other airlines, it’s all about not adding costs to our customers and we want to keep it cheap.

‘What our first customers will experience onboard is a fresh approach to flying where we keep the bar high on quality, and our costs low.’

Mr Jordan previously said the airline’s target market was ‘average Australians’ such as ‘tradies, teachers, kids and carers’. 

‘Demand for domestic travel is high and Aussies deserve for travel to be a basic right for many, not a luxury for the few.’

Bonza’s flight network is expected to expand to some 27 routes in the near future – consisting of domestic, interstate and international – as the carrier’s fleet and workforce grows. 

Backed by US venture capital firm 777 Partners, 93 per cent of the budget carrier’s destinations are not served by any other airline. 

Bonza's CEO said the airline will target communities which have not been serviced to date, with the carrier placing its focus on regional communities and promised the low fares are here to stay

 Bonza’s CEO said the airline will target communities which have not been serviced to date, with the carrier placing its focus on regional communities and promised the low fares are here to stay

The introduction of Bonza, adds competition to Virgin, Qantas and JetStar which in turn is expected to drive down prices.

Tuesday’s launch makes Bonza the first new major Australian airline since Tiger Airways in 2007 which ultimately closed down due to Covid imposed travel lockdowns.

The airline will service regional airports across NSW, Queensland and Victoria, including 13 from its base on the Sunshine Coast. 

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Within Queensland, Bonza passengers will be able to fly from the airline’s hub to Cairns, Townsville, the Whitsunday coast, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg and Toowoomba Wellcamp. 

Interstate Bonza travellers can fly from the Sunshine Coast to Albury, Avalon, Coffs Harbour, Melbourne, Mildura, Newcastle, Port Macquarie and Tamworth. 

Travellers catching a flight from Melbourne can fly directly to 10 destinations including Mildura, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast and Port Macquarie. 

The introduction of Bonza, adds competition to Virgin, Qantas and JetStar which in turn is expected to drive down prices

 The introduction of Bonza, adds competition to Virgin, Qantas and JetStar which in turn is expected to drive down prices

Where can you go on a Bonza Airline flight? 

Bonza’s flight network covers 17 domestic and interstate destinations

 Flying from The Sunshine Coast 

NSW: Albury, Coffs Harbour, Newcastle, Port Macquarie and Tamworth

Queensland: Cairns, Mackay, Townsville, Rockhampton and Whitsunday Coast

Victoria: Avalon, Melbourne and Mildura

Flying from Melbourne

NSW: Port Macquarie and Tamworth 

Queensland: Bundaberg, Gladstone, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton and Toowoomba Wellcamp

Victoria: Mildura

Flying from Whitsunday Coast 

NSW: Newcastle

Queensland: Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba Wellcamp

Flying from Rockhampton

 Queensland: Cairns, Sunshine Coast and Townsville

Victoria: Melbourne

Flying from Mackay

Queensland: Cairns and Sunshine Coast

Victoria: Melbourne

Flying from Toowoomba Wellcamp

Queensland: Townsville and Whitsunday Coast

Victoria: Melbourne 

Flying from Cairns

Queensland: Mackay, Rockhampton and Sunshine Coast 

Flying from Townsville

Queensland: Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba Wellcamp

Flying from Newcastle

Queensland: Sunshine Coast and Whitsunday Coast

Flying from Port Macquarie 

 Queensland: Sunshine Coast

Victoria: Melbourne

Flying from Gladstone 

Victoria: Melbourne  

Flying from Bundaberg

Victoria: Melbourne 

Flying from Sunshine Coast 

NSW: Coffs Harbour 

Flying from Albury

Queensland: Sunshine Coast

Flying from Mildura

Queensland: Sunshine Coast 

Victoria: Melbourne

Flying from Avalon

Queensland: Sunshine Coast 

Flying from Tamworth

Queensland: Sunshine Coast 

Victoria: Melbourne 

 

 Source: Bonza

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