Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Great Photos as Bonza Boeing B737-8 MAX VH-UJT Touches Down at Mackay Airport on a Training Flight

On Tuesday 25 October, the 'new kid on the block' paid Central Queensland a visit with Bonza Boeing B737-8 MAX VH-UJT calling into Mackay Airport on what appeared to be a training or proving flight, potentially bringing the airline one step closer to achieving clearance from the safety regulator to launch scheduled services.

The airline was hoping to begin operations last month but is unable to do so until it receives the crucial Air Operators Certificate (AOC).

VH-UJT flew into Mackay Airport from the Sunshine Coast - where it has been parked since arriving into the country at the start of August. VH-UJT also completed a flight to Newcastle (Williamtown) and back to the Sunny Coast on Monday 24 October.

VH-UJT departed Mackay Airport and was planned to call into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport but looked to turn away and 'divert' back down to the Sunshine Coast - perhaps another visit on another day!

Of interest, VH-UJT was originally destined for LOT - Polish Airlines as SP-LVO but the airframe wasn't taken up. It will also be named 'Shazza' after a highly publicised competition.
Meanwhile, Bonza's second Boeing B737-8 MAX VH-UIK is at Calgary in Canada with speculation mounting that its delivery is only days away.

UPDATE! On Wednesday 26 October, VH-UIK started its delivery flight to Australia, with it touching down on the Sunshine Coast from Nadi, Fiji on Saturday 29 October.

UPDATE! On Tuesday 25 October, a third Boeing B737-8 MAX was registered to Bonza - VH-UBI.

Bonza originally announced initial plans to launch with a fleet of two to three Boeing B737-8 MAX aircraft before increasing its fleet to eight.  A fleet of two three would be enough for it to begin operating some of its planned 27 routes in a staggered start.

When Bonza does begin commercial operations, it will fly so-called ‘point-to-point’ leisure services not serviced by the capital city-focused Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin, and Rex.

Bonza has claimed that 93 per cent of its network - 25 out of its 27 routes - are not currently flown by any other airline, while 96 per cent are not served by any other low-cost carrier. Flights are expected to cost around $50 for each hour of the flight.

Destinations on Bonza’s initial route map include Melbourne, Avalon, Sunshine Coast, Mildura, Albury, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Mackay, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Tamworth, Townsville, Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast), Bundaberg, Gladstone, and Toowoomba.

We wish them all the very best!

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter 'JM' for allowing us to share these great photos!

All photos taken by 'JM' ©

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