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31st January 2023

A new era in Queensland tourism and aviation has launched with Sunshine Coast-based Bonza starting flights to and from 17 destinations, including nine in regional Queensland.

Bonza’s first Queensland flight took off today from Sunshine Coast Airport for the Whitsundays.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Bonza’s launch was an important day for Queensland.

“Today’s first flight marks the first new high-capacity start-up airline in Queensland and Australia for more than 15 years,” The Premier said.

“Bonza’s launch means more interstate seats to Queensland tourism destinations and more regional Queensland jobs, from airport handlers to catering suppliers.

“Having a Bonza base at Sunshine Coast Airport creates a new air hub connecting this region direct to other Queensland destinations.

“Bonza is bonza news for Queensland tourism.”

Member for Nicklin Rob Skelton said Bonza’s launch was a coup for the Sunshine Coast.

“Bonza’s Queensland base opens up a host of new direct services for Sunshine Coast visitors from the southern states,” Mr Skelton said.

“For holidaymakers from Albury, Mildura, Tamworth, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie, the Sunshine Coast becomes a sought-after destination.”

Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt congratulated Sunshine Coast Airport on securing Bonza’s Queensland base.

“After a busy holiday season, landing Bonza for the Sunshine Coast is another big vote of confidence in our destination,” Mr Hunt said.

“From catering to airport ground staff and tourism and hospitality operators, Bonza’s arrival delivers jobs and certainty for the Sunshine Coast economy.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Bonza was a welcome addition to Queensland tourism’s domestic recovery.

“We understand Bonza estimates landing 772,000 extra seats on the Sunshine Coast in the first year of operation, which is a significant opportunity for tourism across Queensland,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Bonza’s launch follows a strong festive season for domestic tourism in Queensland with holidaymakers generating more than $3 billion for the State’s visitor economy.

“As a low-cost airline, Bonza has terrific potential to boost intra and interstate arrivals to world-famous destinations including the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Central Queensland and the north.

“Aviation is critical to tourism in Queensland with Bonza’s formula for affordable, direct flights set to be welcomed by travellers and regional tourism operators alike.

“These services are part of a Bonza, new era of convenience for visitors exploring Queensland’s world-class visitor experiences.”

Services to the Sunshine Coast Airport and regional cities including Gladstone, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mackay, Whitsunday Coast, Cairns, Toowoomba Wellcamp and Townsville are predicted by Bonza to inject $86 million to the regional Queensland economy during the airline’s first year of operation.

Bonza CEO Tim Jordan said Bonza would connect communities, make air travel accessible and stimulate new tourism markets with a focus on regional Australia.

“Our initial route map includes 17 destinations and 27 routes – 93 per cent of which are not currently served by any other airline and 96 per cent of which currently have no low-cost carrier,” he said.

“In addition to being home based on the Sunshine Coast, nine of our 17 initial destinations are in regional Queensland and include Gladstone, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mackay, Whitsunday Coast, Cairns, Toowoomba Wellcamp and Townsville.

“Our route map is just the beginning, and our plans are laid out for growth.

“Today is an exciting milestone as we look forward to delivering on our promise of stimulating new markets for regional destinations.”

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie said, “Bonza’s arrival into the Sunshine Coast is a game changer for our region as we will connect more people to more destinations than ever before.

“It’s a new era for Sunshine Coast Airport as this inaugural service marks the first of 13 destinations Bonza will service directly from the Sunshine Coast, 10 of which have never been previously offered.

“The commencement of Bonza’s services will boost our airport to one of the most domestically connected airports in Queensland, bringing an additional 772,000 seats into the region which is estimated to generate $86 million in domestic visitor spend in the first 12 months of Bonza’s operations.”

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