Australian low-cost startup Bonza has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, taking one step closer to its official launch in late September. 

According to Flightradar24.com data, the 2.9-year-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 airliner, registered VH-UJT, departed from Boeing facilities in Seattle (BFI), US, on July 29, 2022.   

Bonza CEO Tim Jordan confirmed that the plane had arrived at its new home base at Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY) early on August 1, 2022, according to a report by Australian Aviation

“We are beyond excited to welcome our first aircraft to Sunshine Coast Airport and with so much buzz around the country for Bonza, we hope today is also exciting for the communities we’ll be flying to,” Jordan said. “We are now one important step closer to connecting more Australians with convenient low-cost travel options to more destinations for holidays and to visit loved ones.”  

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Previously registered SP-LVO, the jet was leased by LOT Polish Airlines from aircraft lessor SMBC Aviation Capital and served the Polish flag carrier until July 21, 2022. The plane was then returned to the lessor before being handed over to its new owner, Bonza, Planespotters.com data indicates.  

Bonza, which was founded in 2021, had initially planned to start commercial operations in Q2 2022 but postponed the launch until September since it has yet to receive its Air Operators Certificate (AOC).   

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The startup airline will be based at Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY), around 90 kilometers (56 miles) from Brisbane, and expects to expand its fleet gradually to eight MAX 8s during the first year following the launch.  

Bonza: An Uber-like booking system and ‘wear it your way’ uniforms 

Bonza will adopt a booking model like Uber, where travelers will book tickets for flights, communicate with customer service, and make payments directly via an app instead of using a typical flight booking system on the airline’s website.   

The airline will attempt to compete with the larger and more dominant Australian carriers by offering ultra-low fares for direct services across an initial 17 destinations and 27 routes in the country.   

Its focus will be on point-to-point travel, rather than flying with a stop in major Australian cities, a business model favored by other Australian airlines. It intends to cut costs by removing features such as airport lounges and frequent-flyer programs that are broadly used by the airline’s existing competitors.   

Bonza has already unveiled its first uniform, throwing out traditional airline styles and adopting what the carrier has referred to as a ‘wear it your way’ range. The airline aims to stand out from its competitors by allowing employees to let their individual personalities shine with various ‘mix and match’ uniform options. It will also remove grooming standard guides for the crew, who will be allowed to style and wear uniforms depending on their mood.  

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