31 January 2023
SUNSHINE COAST AIRPORT FLYING HIGH AS BONZA’S INAUGURAL FLIGHT TAKES OFF TO WHITSUNDAY COAST CONNECTING THE REGION TO MORE DESTINATIONS THAN EVER BEFORE
Cementing its role as a key driver of growth in the region, Sunshine Coast Airport is flying high as it celebrates Bonza’s first flight to the Whitsundays and boosting the airport’s connections from 4 to 16.
Marking the official start to passenger services for Australia’s newest airline Bonza, flight AB777 on Boeing 737 MAX (affectionately known as ‘Bazza’), departed the Sunshine Coast at 8am this morning heading for Whitsunday Coast.
Previously servicing four destinations, Sunshine Coast Airport’s partnership with Bonza now sees Sunshine Coast Airport connected to 16 destinations and delivering on its long-held ambition of being able to connect more people to more destinations.
Sunshine Coast Airport CEO, Andrew Brodie said, “Today, we are witnessing a landmark moment for Sunshine Coast Airport as our friends at Bonza commence passenger services and become the first airline to launch in Australia in more than 15 years.
“It’s a new era for Sunshine Coast Airport and a game changer for our region, as this inaugural service marks the first of 13 destinations Bonza will service directly from the Sunshine Coast, 10 of which are new connections.”
Bonza’s commencement of services will bring an additional 772,000 seats into Sunshine Coast Airport and is estimated to generate around $86million in domestic visitor spend in the first 12 months of operation.
To celebrate Bonza’s arrival on the Sunshine Coast, first flight customers will receive local custom-made cookies and be welcomed by the sunshine smiles and a thumbs up from airport staff. Sunshine Coast Airport has also partnered with local businesses to showcase the regions’ iconic products and experiences. On arrival at the airport, a select number of customer bags will feature a ‘lucky luggage tag’ for giveaways including hundreds of donated packs including free entry to a number of the regions’ attractions and tours as well as hampers packed with locally produced food, drinks and gifts.
Mr Brodie said the airport was a big supporter of our local tourism operators and food producers and wanted to showcase what people can experience on the Sunshine Coast.
“We wanted to provide a warm welcome to Bonza’s first passengers and we are very grateful for the support we have received from local businesses who have generously donated their products and vouchers for experiences to help celebrate this momentous occasion,” Mr Brodie said.
Mr Brodie joined Bonza CEO Tim Jordan who said “Our team of legends couldn’t be more excited to begin connecting Aussies for holidays and time spent with loved ones. What better place to start than arguably two of the country’s favourite holiday destinations. Whether you are snorkelling the Whitsunday Islands or grabbing a cold one in the craft beer capital of Australia – the Sunshine Coast – we are humbled to take you there.”
The launch of Bonza comes at a time of significant change for the Sunshine Coast Airport which plays a major role as an economic enabler for the wider region.
“Our partnership with Bonza is another important milestone in our long term plans for Sunshine Coast Airport which will see us welcome greater volumes of travellers, opening up opportunities not previously available to our regional travellers,” Mr Brodie said.
“We are embarking on a period of significant growth and change which will benefit all of SE Qld and we are only just getting started. The first stage was completed in June 2020 when we opened the new longer and wider runway and over the coming years our domestic terminal will double in size, there will be an expansion of the Aerospace Precinct and our Southern Gateway will start to take shape.
“In fact we will be investing up to $1B in infrastructure which will have a significant impact on the regional economy. We will create jobs, attract investment and support the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We are building a legacy for generations to come and the Sunshine Coast Airport will play a pivotal role in firmly putting the Sunshine Coast on the map as a destination for business and pleasure,” Mr Brodie said.
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. When the airport is fully developed, total direct employment at the Airport is expected to grow from 530 to 1300 direct jobs. The Airport will also support up to 5,500 jobs and inject up to $396 million annually to Queensland’s GSP in the tourism and supply chain industries once development is completed.
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.
Sunshine Coast Airport will service 16 destinations including Adelaide, Albury, Auckland, Avalon, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Mackay, Melbourne, Mildura, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Sydney, Tamworth, Townsville and Whitsunday Coast.
For further information
Contact: Sunshine Coast Airport Corporate Communications