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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Bonza leaves hole in flight services

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FOLLOWING budget airline Bonza going into voluntary administration, last week, Whitsunday Coast Airport has been quick to talk to other airlines in an attempt to plug the holes.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, Bonza CEO Tim Jordan advised the company had ‘temporarily suspended services’.

The statement read: ‘Bonza has temporarily suspended services due to be operated today (Tuesday, April 30), as discussions are currently underway regarding the ongoing viability of the business’. 

There were no scheduled flights out of Whitsunday Coast Airport, on April 30, so fortunately, there were no people stranded at the airport when the flights were cancelled with no notice.

“The immediate impact was around customer inconvenience in respect to flights being cancelled and future routes no longer available,” Council’s Director of Commercial Businesses Craig Turner said. 

“Whitsunday Coast Airport focused on liaising with Bonza to fully understand their position and assist with providing timely information to impacted travellers and those scheduled to use their service in the future.”

The Whitsundays lost six flights per week in total, with the demise of Bonza, including two flights per week from each of the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Newcastle.  

In terms of the longer-term plan to replace these flights, Mr Turner said he would be meeting with major airlines and airports, encouraging them to consider taking over the routes previously serviced by Bonza.

“Due to the Bonza flights, we now have data to back up the popularity of the routes that were available on the previous Bonza schedule,” he said.

“Recognising that other airports facing similar challenges will also be actively advocating to secure their own routes, Whitsunday Coast Airport is committed to working to bring back those routes, through partnerships with other incumbent airlines.”

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