Australian start-up Bonza is looking to expand its fleet and network – including launching a fourth operating base – as it marks its first year of operations. 

The low-cost carrier says it is “firmly focused on growth” this year, with plans to add more aircraft to its fleet of six Boeing 737 Max 8s, as well as more domestic points. 

Bonza 737 Max 8 2 Trimmed

Source: Bonza

The airline did not disclose where its fourth base would be, or how many aircraft it was looking to take. Bonza recently wet-leased two 737 Max 8 aircraft from sister Canadian carrier Flair Airlines to shore up capacity following months of operational snags. 

Bonza in 2023 carried more than 750,000 passengers across its domestic network of 38 routes serving 21 destinations. A majority of these routes – around 84% – were previously unserved by low-cost carriers, the airline adds. 

When it began operations in January 2023, Bonza had touted bullish expansion plans, targeting an initial route map of 27 routes to 17 domestic cities with a fleet of four aircraft. 

However, by July, Bonza – Australia’s first independent low-cost operator in more than a decade – was forced to cut back on expansion in a significant network rejig that saw five routes cut and frequencies reduced on another 20. 

The subsequent aircraft lease helped alleviate the operational crunch, allowing the airline to operate from its Gold Coast base. 

Airline chief Tim Jordan says: “Since our introduction just a year ago we’ve delivered significant savings wherever we operate, demonstrating the positive impact Bonza is having on the Australian domestic aviation market.”