The Times Australia

The Times

Holidays & Travel

Bonza launches direct flights from the Sunshine Coast to Mackay

New Aussie airline Bonza continues its launch today with its first-ever direct flight from the Sunshine Coast to Mackay with customers travelling or reconnecting with loved ones this Valentine's Day. 

Proving love is in the air, a local Sunshine Coast couple who share the same nicknames as Bonza’s aircraft (Shazza and Bazza) renewed their wedding vows airside at Sunshine Coast Airport. A wedding first for the airport, the couple will then fly as guests of Bonza to Mackay where a pool party and BBQ awaits them. 

“Bonza is off to a flying start. On 27 January, we went on sale for the first time selling over 10,000 seats in just three days. Since then, customers have been continuing to embrace our app first approach. On 31 January, we had wheels up for the first time and today we share the love with our mates in Mackay,” said Tim Jordan, CEO of Bonza.  

Flights from Sunshine Coast to Mackay are on sale via the Fly Bonza app with prices starting from $59 per person one way. Also on sale now for $49 per person one way is the Mackay to Cairns route which starts on 29 March. Bonza is expected to go on sale with its Melbourne base soon which will include a twice weekly service between Melbourne and Mackay. 

“We are about connecting communities and giving Aussies the chance to fly directly to see loved ones where before it was either too expensive or took too long. We’re also about making it affordable to see more of your own backyard and Mackay is the perfect example of a destination that is relatively undiscovered. I can’t wait to return with my family to explore the rainforest and beaches,” added Jordan, who flew with customers on today’s historic flight,” added Jordan. 

Jordan was joined by Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie, who said the milestone was an important one for the region as they look forward to welcoming people from Mackay.

“Sunshine Coast and Mackay are both beautiful in their own right and are steeped in history that dates back to the pioneering days, but they are also iconic destinations given that one is known as Australia’s sugar capital and the other as Australia’s pineapple capital,” Mr Brodie said.

“The introduction of this new route means that travellers no longer have to choose between one destination or the other.  People can now enjoy time on the Sunshine Coast before travelling north, saving them time and money and giving them greater freedom and choice in terms of planning a holiday.”

Also onboard today was North Queensland Airports CEO Richard Barker whose team were at Mackay Airport ready to welcome travellers with a pool party and BBQ lunch at the Ibis Hotel at the terminal. 

Mr Barker said the new direct route was a win for both travellers and local industries.

“These flights enable cost-effective travel, whether that be for leisure, visiting friends and relatives or business. We expect this new Bonza service will add thousands of additional seats to the Mackay market per week once the schedule is ramped up,” he said.

“Passengers now have an easy option to fly between Mackay and the Sunshine Coast, whether they are heading south towards Noosa or North to explore the Mackay region. What used to be a 10-hour drive is now just a one-hour flight.”

Once Bonza has introduced all flights on its initial route map, travellers in Mackay will be able to make the most of three flights per week to the Sunshine Coast, two flights per week to Cairns and two flights weekly to Melbourne. Routes using Bonza’s Melbourne base are expected to go on sale soon. 

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