13 January 2023
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT FOR SUNSHINE COAST AIRPORT AS CASA GIVE BONZA THE GREEN LIGHT TO TAKE FLIGHT
The announcement that Bonza has been given the all clear by CASA to commence operations opens up new opportunities for the region’s business and leisure travellers as Sunshine Coast Airport connects to more destinations than ever before.
Sunshine Coast Airport CEO, Andrew Brodie was delighted to receive this news following Bonza’s proving flights last week.
“This is fantastic news and a great way to kick off 2023. Bonza will now be able to go on sale and commence flights before the month is over,” Mr Brodie said.
“Bonza will initially service 13 destinations directly from Sunshine Coast, 10 of which have never been previously serviced, boosting our airport from the 10th to the 2nd most domestically connected airport in Queensland.
“This is history in the making as Bonza will be the first airline to launch in Australia in more than 15 years.
“The destinations Bonza is opening up for regional travellers is a game changer for Australians and they are also providing a critical pathway in unlocking new market opportunities for business to explore.
“It is going to be exciting to watch and see how things evolve now that travel between the Sunshine Coast and these new destinations just became a whole lot easier,” Mr Brodie said.
Bonza’s commencement of services will bring an additional 772,000 seats into Sunshine Coast Airport and generate around $86million in domestic visitor spend in the first 12 months of operation.
Bonza CEO Tim Jordan was delighted with the announcement and said, “This is an historic moment for Australian aviation as we get ready to launch the first high capacity airline in more than 15 years, and the country’s only independent low cost carrier,” said Tim Jordan, CEO of Bonza.
“The excitement for what we are about to deliver is palpable and the timing couldn’t be better. Demand for domestic travel is high and Aussies deserve for travel to be a basic right for many, not a luxury for the few. This has never been truer with today’s cost of living challenges. With the approval from CASA, 2023 is set to be the year of seeing more of your own backyard for less,” added Jordan.”
Acting CEO of Tourism Noosa, Susan Ewington, welcomed the news saying “What an exciting moment for Bonza in receiving approval from CASA to operate. We can’t wait to have Australia’s newest low-cost carrier based just minutes from our region, connecting new markets directly to Sunshine Coast Airport for a Noosa getaway.”
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said “The launch of Bonza is incredible news for the Sunshine Coast. The new routes will open our destination up to markets we’ve never had direct access from before, and local tourism operators are incredibly excited about the positive impacts this level of connectivity will have on their business and the broader industry.”
The news that Bonza will soon take to the skies reinforces the role the Sunshine Coast Airport plays as an economic enabler of, not just the region, but across the whole of South East Queensland.
“We are forecast to welcome 1.5 million passengers in 22/23, which is up over 80% on the previous year,” Mr Brodie said.
“Records were broken in 2022 with increases in passenger numbers throughout the year and we expect more records to be broken in 2023 as Bonza ramps up its services over the coming months.”
The unprecedented growth in the region comes at a time when Sunshine Coast Airport is undergoing significant change as it prepares to welcome additional carriers and international flights in the coming years.
“We are focused on attracting more business and driving tourism by building a platform that attracts business to the region and drives tourism by connecting our region across Australia and, at the right time, internationally,” Mr Brodie said.
When the airport is fully developed, it is anticipated that the total direct employment at the Airport will grow from 530 to 1300 direct jobs, will support up to 5,500 jobs indirectly and inject up to $396 million annually to Queensland’s GSP in the tourism and supply chain industries.
“The future is very bright for Sunshine Coast Airport, and we will continue to make thoughtful choices that shape the future of our wider region and we look forward to working with all our partners and building upon our success to date,” Mr Brodie said.
- Bonza will connect 13 destinations to Sunshine Coast – 10* of which have never been serviced before – (Cairns, Townsville*, Mackay*, Proserpine* (Whitsundays), Rockhampton*, Tamworth*, Coffs Harbour*, Port Macquarie*, Newcastle, Albury*, Avalon*, Melbourne and Mildura*)
- An additional 772,000 seats into the Sunshine Coast and an estimated Annual Visitor Spend – $86million
*indicates route never previously serviced from Sunshine Coast.
About Sunshine Coast Airport
Forecast to welcome 1.5 million passengers in 2022/23, Sunshine Coast Airport is one of the fastest growing and is also the first and only airport in Australia to hold Level 3+ Carbon Neutrality status.
Sunshine Coast Airport Pty Ltd operates and manages Sunshine Coast Airport, the gateway to the Sunshine Coast and Noosa regions, under a 99-year lease from Sunshine Coast Council which commenced in December 2017.
For further information
Contact: Sunshine Coast Airport Corporate Communications