30 November 2023
Sunshine Coast Airport and Bonza soar to new heights as Darwin travellers wake up on the Sunny Coast
Travellers onboard the first-ever direct service between the Top End and the Sunny Coast, were welcomed this morning by a breakfast taste sensation showcasing some of the region’s finest products and produce.
There was no shortage of excitement as the new direct Darwin service touched down this morning, with twice weekly flights set to connect the two holiday and leisure destinations for the first time. Darwin becomes the eleventh direct Bonza service from the Sunshine Coast, and the first direct commercial service from Sunshine Coast Airport to anywhere in the Northern Territory (NT) in the airport’s history.
In the first twelve months, Bonza will have added more than 300,000 additional seats into the region. The new Darwin service will create more opportunities for travellers to experience the best the Sunshine Coast and Noosa have to offer, while opening up new opportunities for locals to visit the NT.
Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Chris Mills said today’s welcome breakfast was the perfect way to showcase Queensland’s Sunshine Pantry, with local company Sunny Rays putting on an amazing breakfast to provide Bonza customers with some of the incredible food options available on the Sunshine Coast.
“Our partnership with Bonza has connected us to incredible destinations across Australia, and now the connection to Darwin opens up a world of new opportunities,” Mr Mills said.
“We are extremely proud of our region, and the incredible entrepreneurs and businesses that make it special, which is why we wanted to welcome travellers with a breakfast to showcase what the region has to offer.
“Our focus at Sunshine Coast Airport is to increase visitation to our region and give locals more choice and flexibility to connect them with family, friends and loved ones.”
Bonza CEO Tim Jordan joined customers onboard the inaugural flight which departed yesterday evening and arrived back this morning. To celebrate the new route, travellers were invited to fly in their PJs and slippers with some donning special edition pyjamas created by Sunshine Coast based brand Knobby.
Travellers were also treated to a bedtime story by local children’s author Lincoln Rawlins, aged 8, who read his bedtime story titled Sprout’s Idea onboard as part of the inaugural celebrations.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to launch our entry into the NT than a first flight from our home base – Sunshine Coast Airport,” said Tim Jordan.
“We know the Top End is often a bucket list destination and by introducing more affordable flights from $149 per person (one way), we’re making it easier for Aussies to explore more of their beautiful big backyard. Our latest route is also more good news for the Sunshine Coast tourism industry as they welcome additional visitors ahead of the summer peak season,” added Jordan.
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said the launch of Bonza’s Darwin service provided another amazing opportunity for the Sunshine Coast tourism industry.
“It’s the first time folks from Darwin have been able to travel directly to the Sunshine Coast, and in just over four hours they can be here to enjoy a croc-free swim or explore our incredible hinterland and world class attractions,” Mr Stoeckel said.
“How fitting that passengers on the first flight get to sample the range of delicious fresh foods from Queensland’s Sunshine Pantry for breakfast.
“I know they’ll also want to taste more of our incredible food and drink offerings during their stay and are spoilt for choice with more than 740 restaurants, 400 food tourism experiences and 24 food and beverage tours.
“And, while they won’t find a Darwin Stubby, they will discover dozens of amazing local beers from the 22 craft breweries here on the Sunshine Coast.”
Tourism Noosa CEO Sharon Raguse offered a warm welcome to the first visitors from Darwin.
“It is great news for our region to have the addition of the Darwin to Sunshine Coast flights from Bonza. Darwin will become an important link to our region offering new opportunities for not only Northern Territory travellers but also providing easier connectivity and access for international visitors to visit our region”.
About Sunshine Coast Airport
Sunshine Coast Airport is the fastest growing airport in Australia and was the first airport in Australia to hold Level 3+ Carbon Neutrality status. By 2040, total direct employment at the Airport is expected to grow from 530 to 2,400 direct jobs and directly contribute an estimated $307million to Australia’s GDP and $460million in total.
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. In July 2023, Sunshine Coast Airport was declared a priority development area (PDA) by the Queensland Government.
Sunshine Coast Airport services 14 destinations including Adelaide, Albury, Auckland, Avalon, Cairns, Darwin, Mackay, Melbourne, Mildura, Newcastle, Rockhampton, Sydney, Townsville and Whitsunday Coast.
Bonza is Australia’s new and only independent low-cost airline enabling Australians to explore more of their own backyard for less. Bonza’s current route map includes 3 bases and 38 routes to 21 destinations with a focus on the unserved and underserved markets. Bonza is the first airline globally to take an app-first approach with the only place to book direct being the Fly Bonza app. The airline was also the first globally to introduce a gender-neutral ‘wear it your way’ uniform including custom Bonza sneakers. Bonza’s all Aussie menu is the first onboard menu to be 100% sourced locally and is ordered on-demand from the Fly Bonza app meaning there are no trolleys to be seen onboard.
For further information:
Contact: Sunshine Coast Airport Corporate Communications
(07) 5373 1901