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'Milestone flight': Bonza welcomes customers and dignitaries on maiden trip

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Bonza’s first customers are ready to be welcomed aboard, taking off on the airline’s maiden flight this morning from its Sunshine Coast base to the Whitsunday Coast.

The flight will leave the Sunshine Coast and will also include invited community members and media representatives.

Today’s route is the first of 27 to be gradually rolled out to a total of 17 destinations after flights went on sale last week.

“Our team of legends couldn’t be more excited to begin connecting Aussies for holidays and time with loved ones,” Bonza CEO Tim Jordan said.

“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.

“Today’s milestone flight comes at a time where demand is high for Aussies to explore their own backyard.”

Mr Jordan revealed that more than 10,000 seats had been sold since going on sale last week.

“What our first customers will experience onboard is a fresh approach to flying where we keep the bar high on quality and our costs low,” he said.

Bonza staff and supporters give some big thumbs up to the airline’s first aircraft at Maroochydore.

Onboard food is ordered on demand from the Fly Bonza app and delivered directly to customers’ seats, and local menu partners were also invited on today’s flight.

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie heralded the beginning of flight services as a special milestone for the Coast.

“As the home base for Bonza, this is a momentous day for the Sunshine Coast as Australia’s newest low-cost airline takes to the skies on their inaugural flight heading to the Whitsundays, making this and other incredible destinations so much more accessible for everyday Australians,” he said.

“Bonza’s commencement of services signals a new era for our airport and wider region, and over the next 12 months we will see an additional 772,000 seats into the region, which will generate more than $86 million in visitor expenditure.

Related story: $86m boost: airline approval ‘a game-changer’

“Our partnership with Bonza is just the beginning as we look forward to a bright future and bringing even more destinations to our airport that will grow employment and tourism and unlock new market opportunities for business to explore.”

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.

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 region’s iconic products and experiences.

The Whitsundays is the destination for Bonza’s first flight from Sunshine Coast Airport.

On arrival at the airport, a select number of customer bags will feature a ‘lucky luggage tag’ for giveaways including hundreds of donated packs, with free entry to a number of the 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.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor with your name and town/suburb at Sunshine Coast News via: news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au

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