While airlines have struggled through the pandemic period, hope is on the horizon, and with an expected travel boom when borders open up, a new player is looking to capitalise on the situation.
Named Bonza, the new independent low-fare airline will be launched in Australia early next year, looking to service the domestic market with a fleet of Boeing 737-8 aircraft.
It is backed by US investment firm 777 Partners and headed by former Virgin Blue executive Tim Jordan.
According to the new company, Australia is the only country among the 15 largest domestic aviation markets in the world to operate without an independent low-cost carrier.
“Bonza’s mission is to encourage more travel by providing more choices and ultra-low fares, particularly into leisure destinations where travel is now often limited to connections via major cities,” chief executive Mr Jordan said.
“Bonza will deliver enormous benefits to all Australians, but particularly to regional communities by providing new routes and greater travel opportunities.
“Bonza will also play a leading role in Australia’s post-pandemic economic recovery – creating jobs, stimulating travel and consumer spending and helping regional communities, especially those that rely on tourism, get back on their feet.”
The investment firm behind the project has other aviation investments, including Canada’s only independent low-fare airline, flair Airlines, and the southeast Asian-based Value Alliance, which is the world’s only successful alliance of low-cost airlines, explained 777 Partners managing director Josh Wander.
The group’s investment portfolio includes software companies and an expanding portfolio of ultra-efficient, new generation aircraft.
“We see huge potential in the Australian market to deliver the benefits and options that an independent low-fare airline brings,” Mr Wander said.
“Tim (Jordan) and his management team are the right people at the right time to deliver affordable airfares to the Australian market and we’re proud to partner with him.”
The Australian market is ripe for a new low-cost carrier after Tigerair failed to survive the pandemic when the Virgin Australia group discontinued the airline in the middle of last year as part of a significant restructure.
At the time, Virgin said the Tigerair brand was axed because of insufficient customer demand to support two brands.
The fact that a new airline is looking to enter that space from early 2022 suggests that the post-pandemic travel situation will soon get back to normal.
Still, even with a recovering domestic travel market, Bonza faces a tough road ahead, with a host of airlines over the years trying and failing to make an impact in the airline market.
Some that failed in the Australian market include Ansett, Compass, OzJet and Air Australia.
Do you think this new airline will succeed? Have you flown domestically with a budget carrier? How would you rate the experience? Would you be willing to fly with Bonza? Do you think domestic travel prices will skyrocket in a post-pandemic travel market? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?
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