Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Bonza Airline Boeing B737-8 MAX VH-UIK Calls into Some CQ Airports While on a Training Flight

On Tuesday 13 December, the 'new kid on the block' paid Central Queensland another visit with Bonza Airline Boeing B737-8 MAX VH-UIK calling into some CQ Airports on what appeared to be a training or proving flight possibly for their technical and cabin crews.

VH-UIK flew up to Mackay Airport from the Sunshine Coast as "Bonza 8701" before then flying down to Gladstone Airport as "Bonza 8702" where it was photographed below parked up for a crew changeover.

VH-UIK then completed the short hop down to Bundaberg Airport as "Bonza 8703" and was again photographed as it arrived and then sat on the tarmac without opening any doors.

VH-UIK then returned to the Sunshine Coast as "Bonza 8704".

The airline was hoping to begin operations in September but is unable to do so until it receives the crucial Air Operators Certificate (AOC).  Hopefully, the continuing series of flights being operated by their Boeing B737-8 MAX aircraft VH-UJT - named 'Shazza' - and VH-UIK - named 'Bazza' - are potentially bringing the airline one step closer to achieving clearance from the safety regulator to launch scheduled services.

Bonza's third Boeing B737-8 MAX aircraft VH-UJK - named 'Sheila' - touched down at the Sunshine Coast on Monday 12 December, completing its delivery flight from North America.

A fourth Boeing B737-8 MAX aircraft has been registered VH-UJZ and remains in the USA with it likely to be based in Melbourne next year.

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 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!

Photos taken by 'AC', Locky Halliwell and Hayden Matthew Alexander  ©

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