On Wednesday 7 December, Bonza Airline Boeing B737-8 MAX VH-UJT was spotted soon after it arrived into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport on what appeared to be a training or proving flight, jetting up from the Sunshine Coast as 'BNZ8101' / "Bonza 8101".
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 VH-UJT and fellow B737-8 MAX VH-UIK are potentially bringing the airline one step closer to achieving clearance from the safety regulator to launch scheduled services.
VH-UJT later departed Proserpine Airport and returned to the Sunshine Coast but as 'BNZ8012'.
Meanwhile, what was thought to be Bonza's next Boeing B737-8 MAX aircraft, VH-UBI, ferried across from Seattle to Tucson in the USA in mid-November before then being placed into storage and de-registered (and placed on the American Aircraft register as N9521B).
A couple more future aircraft for Bonza - VH-UJK and VH-UJZ - were also recently spotted parked at Boeing Field in Seattle in the USA.
UPDATE! On Saturday 10 December, Bonza Airline Boeing B737-8 MAX VH-UJK commenced its ferry flight from Seattle in the USA to Hawaii, Fiji and then to the Sunshine Coast, with arrival into Australia expected on Monday 12 December.
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!
Photo taken by 'AC' ©