AUGUST 2023 ISSUE
Carly Povey, Chief Commercial Officer at Bonza
THE HONEYMOON period appears to be over for Australia’s newest airline with routes cut and services reduced on others.
In an open letter to customers, Bonza’s Chief Commercial Officer said the changes would set the airline up for long-term success and reduce the likelihood of cancellations.
“We’ve been compelled to take out five routes where there isn’t sustainable demand at present,” wrote Carly Povey.
“Twenty-two routes remain and where there is very strong demand, we’re also starting to add in additional flights which is very positive this early on in Bonza’s journey.
“These changes allow us to maintain the many great aspects of the Bonza experience while also doubling down on consistently delivering reliability.”
The routes axed are Sunshine Coast to Coffs Harbour, Sunshine Coast to Port Macquarie, Sunshine Coast to Tamworth, Cairns to Mackay and Toowoomba Wellcamp to Whitsunday Coast.
Three of Bonza’s strong performing routes, namely Sunshine Coast to Albury, Sunshine Coast to Melbourne (Avalon) plus Melbourne to Port Macquarie, will welcome an additional flight each week.
“We will be implementing a range of changes to our schedule from August 1 based on what we have learnt so far and the feedback you’ve given us with regards to route demand.
“You could say, we’re taking a step back to allow us to take a leap forward.”
Meanwhile the airline has just announced that its third base will be Gold Coast Airport with two aircraft confirmed to operate to 11 existing Bonza destinations.
The first flights from the Gold Coast will take off progressively from November.
NEW ARRIVAL FUELS THE PARTY
MORE THAN 3,000 team members and their families have toasted the arrival of Virgin Australia’s first fuel-efficient Boeing 737-8.
The celebrations, part of a family day at the airline’s Brisbane hangar, were hosted by CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka and Boeing’s President of Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Maria Fernandez.
Part of the airline’s fleet renewal program, the latest generation aircraft will reduce emissions by at least 15 per cent per flight, supporting VA’s commitment to targeting net zero emissions by 2050.
“Sustainability is so important for the future of the airline industry globally and fleet renewal is a major step in reducing carbon emissions intensity,” said Ms. Hrdlicka.
“We anticipate our fleet renewal program, together with other fuel efficiency initiatives, will support over 80 per cent of our 2030 interim target to reduce Virgin Australia’s carbon emission intensity by 22 per cent.”
The plane is one of 33 737-8 and 737-10 aircraft Virgin Australia has on order, with more set to be delivered in coming months.
The airline has also revealed its new business class and economy cabin interior as well as confirming plans to refresh the interior cabins on the airline’s remaining Boeing fleet, as part of an investment of approximately $110 million to improve the flying experience for customers.
Highlight features of the new Boeing 737-8 cabin interior, include:
- In-seat power for all business class and economy seats
- Larger overhead lockers, with capacity to stow up to 50 per cent more carry-on baggage
- Wider business class seats which also feature leg rests with extendable footrests, storage compartments, tablet/device holders and water bottle holders.
- A new economy seat design, featuring a ribbed backing to elevate comfort and ergonomics.
- A personal tablet/device holder for all economy seats, making it easy to view Virgin Australia in-flight entertainment, movies and TV shows.
Virgin has also announced an extended partnership with All Nippon Airways, Japan’s largest airline. The deal with ANA will unlock benefits across 12 domestic connections for Aussie travellers within Japan.
Velocity Frequent Flyer members can now earn Points and Status Credits when travelling on ANA operated flights across more than 130 destinations in their global network, including Japan, Asia, North America and Europe.
A LOUNGE WITH A VIEW
AUSSIES CAN now enjoy an al fresco plane spotting experience with Air Canada opening its first outdoor terrace in its new Maple Leaf lounge.
Located in Terminal 2 in San Francisco, the 165-seat lounge is the airline’s 28th worldwide and its third Maple Leaf lounge in America.
In addition to the expansive outdoor terrace with aircraft and runway views, the 761-square-metre retreat offers a range of premium amenities, food and beverages.
Unique seafood offerings, including San Francisco fish stew cioppino, will be on offer alongside a selection of California wines and beer from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Anchor Brewing – America’s first craft beer.
Additional facilities include E-Gates and biometric identification for seamless, hands-free lounge entry, showers with heated towel racks, a VIP room for up to 10 people and a collection of multidisciplinary art that reflects and pays homage to California and Canada.
The new lounge promises an elevated experience for customers travelling from California to Canada or through to Europe, Asia and Australia via three of the airline’s main hubs: Toronto Pearson, Montreal Trudeau, and Vancouver International Airports.
WELCOME TO THE NEXT GENERATION
WORK HAS begun on the first of 29 Airbus A220 aircraft expected to arrive in Australia before the end of the year.
The aircraft will undergo regulatory approvals, airport readiness and training activities before joining the QantasLink fleet in early 2024. The next generation aircraft will gradually replace QantasLink’s Boeing 717 fleet.
Major airframe components, including the centre and rear fuselage, are coming together at Airbus’ production facility in Mirabel, Canada.
The first QantasLink A220 will operate flights between Melbourne and Canberra, with subsequent aircraft to be deployed to other parts of the regional and domestic network.
With double the range of the 717, the A220 is also expected to open up new domestic and short-haul international routes as more aircraft enter the fleet.
The plane will seat 137 passengers in a two-cabin configuration with 10 business seats and 127 seats in economy.
MORE CHOICE AT CHRISTMAS
VIETJET WILL increase the frequency of direct services to and from Australia from 20 to 34 flights per week from December 2023.
This includes daily return flights for the Ho Chi Minh City – Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh City – Sydney routes, while the Ho Chi Minh City – Brisbane route will increase to three return flights per week.
The ramped-up services have been introduced due to increased demand for travel between the two countries.
Until December 31, Australians can book one-way tickets to and from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from $200 (including taxes and fees) on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays when booking on the airline website or via the Vietjet Air mobile app.