Some big changes for Bonza less than six months after the budget airline launched it first flights across Australia.
The low-cost carrier has penned an open letter to customers, revealing changes to its routes and schedule from August 1 “designed to set the airline up for long-term success and reduce the likelihood of cancellations.”
Five routes (Sunshine Coast to Coffs Harbour, Sunshine Coast to Port Macquarie, Sunshine Coast to Tamworth, Cairns to Mackay and Toowoomba Wellcamp to Whitsunday Coast) will be removed completely, while others will have their frequencies reduced.
Chief Commercial Officer Carly Povey says there isn’t suitable demand to service those routes at the present time.
“Twenty two routes remain and where there is very strong demand, we’re also starting to add in additional flights which is very positive this early on in Bonza’s journey,” says Ms Povey.
Three of the strongest performing route (Sunshine Coast to Albury, Sunshine Coast to Melbourne (Avalon) and Melbourne to Port Macquarie) will welcome an additional flight each week.
“In order for us to earn your trust, as we know that we’re at the start of that journey, we have decided to take a step back to allow our services to become more reliable,” Ms Povey says.
“We will be implementing a range of changes to our schedule from 1 August based on what we have learnt so far and the feedback you’ve given us with regards to route demand.”
Customers booked on routes impacted (from 1st August to 28th October) will be contacted by the airline via SMS and will automatically receive a full refund or alternate flights with Bonza, depending on their scenario.
“To those customers who have or will face a cancelled flight – we apologise. Please wait for our team to contact you.
“Australia has been waiting for a new airline and you’ve welcomed us with open arms and it is on us to deliver more consistently. These changes allow us to maintain the many great aspects of the Bonza experience whilst also doubling down on consistently delivering reliability,” Ms Povey says.
The airline says the changes are focused on setting Bonza up for the long-term, so Australians can enjoy more competition in the skies for years to come.
Ms Povey says the airline will then move forward with growth plans which includes going on sale with flights from late October 2023 to April 2024 (including Christmas & Easter peak periods), establishing a third base which will mean additional job opportunities, new routes to existing and new destinations enabled by the introduction of additional aircraft.