20 Sept 2023
Time to croc and roll as Bonza launches direct flights between the Sunshine Coast and Darwin
Sunshine Coast Airport and Bonza have celebrated another milestone today with the announcement of a new direct service between the Sunshine Coast and Darwin. The new service is set to take off from 29 November with flights now on sale, starting from just $149 (one-way).
Sunshine Coast Airport Interim CEO Gary Allen celebrated the announcement at today’s launch event from The Crocodile Hunter Lodge by Australia Zoo, with Bonza now flying to eleven destinations from Sunshine Coast Airport.
Mr Allen said the new service will be a hit with visitors who are keen to experience the natural wonders of both destinations, linking the pristine beaches of the Sunshine Coast and Noosa, with some of Australia’s most incredible national parks.
“Already this year we’ve seen our partnership with Bonza connect Sunshine Coast Airport to new destinations like never before, and I’m delighted that Darwin will be our newest direct service,” Mr Allen said.
“This new connection will provide opportunities for people to experience Darwin’s amazing art, culture, wildlife, and experiences, while also giving locals access to both Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, both home to amazing natural wonders.
“Travellers can now also experience the best the Sunshine Coast and Noosa have to offer, including our pristine beaches, lush hinterland, local craft breweries, culinary delights, and amazing experiences – none more iconic than the world-famous Australia Zoo.
“It is truly an exciting time for Sunshine Coast Airport, and we want to thank Bonza for their on-going support helping us to connect our region to new destinations across Australia.”
Mr Allen said the region’s on-going growth had helped contribute to a record 1.62 million passengers through Sunshine Coast Airport in FY23, showcasing how important choice of destination was for the community.
“The new Sunshine Coast to Darwin service will provide a significant boost to both regions with 38,000 seats available between the two destinations, providing options for travellers as we look to connect our region with more destinations across Australia and the world,” he said.
“There will be two flights per-week on Wednesday and Saturday, linking Sunshine Coast Airport and Darwin Airport for the first time.
“This new service also expands the opportunity for Sunshine Coast locals to explore with Darwin connected directly to Bali and Singapore, helping unlock Asia and the world.
“We have seen record passenger numbers over the past twelve months, reinforcing Sunshine Coast Airport as one of the fastest growing airports in Australia and we are excited for the future.”
Speaking from The Crocodile Hunter Lodge by Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast, Bonza’s Chief Commercial Officer Carly Povey said by launching the new service, Bonza says it’s another step closer to delivering on its strapline “Here for Allstralia” and delivering on its commitment to boost domestic tourism with a focus on leisure destinations.
“We are thrilled to announce a brand new route for Sunny Coast locals. From 29 November, travellers will be able to fly direct to Darwin for a holiday filled with nature, wildlife, waterfalls and epic sunsets. The new route also opens up a brand new market for tourism operators here on the Sunshine Coast who will be drawn to the region’s attractions like Australia Zoo and its burgeoning food and drink scene,” said Povey.
Wildlife conservationist Robert Irwin said record numbers through Sunshine Coast Airport, combined with new Bonza connections, would help provide opportunities for visitors to learn about Australia Zoo’s important wildlife initiatives and conservation projects.
“By welcoming more people to the Sunshine Coast, we hope to provide an exciting experience for visitors at Australia Zoo, and educate everyone about our efforts in wildlife conservation through our global charity, Wildlife Warriors,” Robert said.
“Visitors can experience Australia Zoo’s luxury accommodation, The Crocodile Hunter Lodge, in rustic family-friendly cabins while being surrounded by serene wilderness and wildlife, reconnecting with the stunning natural world.”Mr Allen said the new Darwin service only made possible by the 2020 runway expansion project, with the Darwin connection set to become the longest direct domestic service from Sunshine Coast Airport in history.
“The current runway was completed in December of 2020, and prior to that, a direct commercial service to Darwin wasn’t possible,” he said.
“We can now facilitate larger aircraft with more capacity, allowing us to provide more opportunities for airline partners, like Bonza, to connect our region to new incredible destinations.”
*Subject to regulatory approval.
About Sunshine Coast Airport
Sunshine Coast Airport is one of the fastest growing airports 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.
For further information:
Contact: Sunshine Coast Airport Corporate Communications
(07) 5373 1901