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‘Strewth’! Bonza takes a step back with downsized network map

The burgeoning low-cost carrier is learning some hard truths of regional aviation and making some changes to its network.

Bonza Chief Commercial Officer, Carly Povey.

Fledgling low-cost Australian carrier Bonza has cut five routes from its network barely five months removed from its debut as it seeks to axe underperforming routes and set-up for long-term success.

In an open letter to customers penned by Chief Commercial Officer, Carly Povey, Bonza will aim to “earn the respect of Aussie travellers” by consolidating its route map from its original 27 to 22 along with reducing the frequency of others, effective from 1 August.

“We’ve been compelled to take out five routes where there isn’t sustainable demand at present,” wrote Povey.

“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.”

Click here to read Povey’s letter in full.

Bonza's revised network map sees Coffs Harbour dropped entirely.

The five underperforming routes - Sunshine Coast to Coffs Harbour, Sunshine Coast to Port Macquarie, Sunshine Coast to Tamworth, Cairns to Mackay and Toowoomba Wellcamp to Whitsunday Coast – are the pairs to face the chop.

The move makes Coffs Harbour the first city to be axed completely by Bonza from its original list of 17 destinations, with its only service to Sunshine Coast being one of those dropped.

Conversely, three other routes - Sunshine Coast to Albury, Sunshine Coast to Melbourne (Avalon) and Melbourne to Port Macquarie – will see their schedules bolstered with an additional weekly service to meet strong and sustained demand.

Bonza CEO Tim Jordan recently lamented a nationwide shortage of qualified pilots had forced the airline to cancel some services, which the airline admitted had led to some less than favourable feedback.

Affected customers with cancelled flights will be contacted by the airline via SMS and offered either a full refund or the opportunity to move their booking to alternate Bonza services.

REVIEW: Read Traveltalk’s review of Bonza’s inflight service.

Bonza says it is taking a step back to allow it to take a big leap forward.

The airline will proceed with growth plans including releasing seats for sale on flights from October 2023 to April 2024, creating new job opportunities by establishing a third base and introducing new destinations after taking delivery of new aircraft.

Povey’s letter said overall customer feedback had been largely positive, with the airline’s new planes and all-Australian menu proving a hit with travellers.

“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,” Povey’s letter continued.

“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.

“You could say, we’re taking a step back to allow us to take a leap forward.”

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 13 July 2023

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