Bonza's first passengers arrived at Bundaberg Regional Airport today direct from Melbourne with the new route operating twice weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays with fares starting from $89 per person (one way).
Today’s milestone is part of the largest route roll out in Australia’s aviation history as Bonza continues to get wheels up on 27 routes to 17 destinations.
Bonza CEO Tim Jordan said interest in the route was already high.
“We are seeing strong demand for this route in both directions as Victorians seek out winter warmth and to experience the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Jordan said.
“It’s also a chance for Melbournian foodies to tour Bundy’s iconic distillery, food and drink producers and indulge in fresh local seafood.”
He said demand from Bundy locals to catch a low-cost flight to Melbourne was also high.
“There are a lot of Bundy locals who are flying to see friends and family in Victoria or to enjoy a city break taking in Melbourne’s famous laneway cafes, shopping and galleries.”
Onboard the historic flight was Melbourne Victory Football Club’s Captain Josh Brillante who hails from Bundaberg.
He took the opportunity to celebrate the inaugural flight by flying in for a reunion with his family. Earlier this year, Bonza surprised him with a pre-match get together with his parents who can now fly direct to catch more games.
“As Principal Partners of Melbourne Victory Football Club, we are pleased to welcome Josh onboard our first flight to his hometown,” Mr Jordan said.
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said the arrival of Bonza’s first Melbourne to Bundaberg flight was welcomed by local residents, the tourism industry and southern travellers.
“It’s Bonza that Bundaberg is getting direct services to Melbourne, and I urge everyone to get on board and take to the skies to support them,” said Mayor Dempsey.
“It’s a great result for locals to have increased travel options to enjoy top-flight sports and cultural experiences and visit loved ones, while our tourism industry will have access to a massive new market.
“Bundaberg offers the quintessential Aussie experience from iconic beverages to bush heritage, turtles, pristine beaches and the southern Great Barrier Reef.
“Now, many more Victorians can get a taste of the incredible lifestyle we have to offer.”
In Melbourne ready to greet the first arrival from Bundaberg is Melbourne Airport’s Chief of Aviation Jim Parashos.
“We are excited to have Bonza providing direct connections from Melbourne to so many new destinations, particularly as we head into winter and Victorians start to look for warmer weather,” Mr Parashos said.
“As the nation’s capital of sport, food and culture there are plenty of reasons to visit Melbourne too, and we suspect it won't just be soccer fans taking advantage of this new service to head south.”
Travellers are encouraged to download the Fly Bonza app which is the only place to book direct.
I’m paying more than $89 for fares from Melbourne to Bundy in July, it cost me $200 one way