Bonza to end Townsville-Rockhampton service in March

Bonza to end Townsville-Rockhampton service in March

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Bonza’s 737 MAX 8, VH-UJK “Sheila”, takes off. (Image: Bonza)

Bonza is axing its route between Townsville and Rockhampton due to low demand.

Non-stop flights between the two Queensland destinations will wrap up on 29 March, though Bonza has assured passengers in Townsville and Rockhampton that it will continue to serve other routes from both cities, including to its Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast hubs.

“Both the Townsville and Rockhampton communities have greatly supported the other routes, which we remain committed to provided there’s ongoing demand,” a Bonza spokesperson said, noting that the route “wasn’t popular with customers”.

“It’s standard practice within aviation, as with most industries, that when a route/product doesn’t perform well, it’s reassessed and the resources reallocated to deliver a better outcome.

“Rockhampton continues to have flights to/from Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Melbourne and the Gold Coast whilst Townsville has flights to/from Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast.”

This is not the first time Bonza has dropped an underperforming route, with five services cut in a high-profile decision last July just five months after the airline’s inaugural flight.

Bonza on 1 August ended flights from Sunshine Coast to Coffs Harbour, Sunshine Coast to Port Macquarie, Sunshine Coast to Tamworth, Cairns to Mackay and Toowoomba to Whitsunday Coast, while some other routes had services reduced by one flight per week on days with less demand.

Three strongly-performing routes, however – Sunshine Coast to Albury, Sunshine Coast to Avalon, and Melbourne to Port Macquarie – each had their frequency increased by one flight per week.

The move last year cut Coffs Harbour out of Bonza’s network entirely, though the airline noted that it was leaving the door open to return to the NSW holiday destination in future.

Speaking to Australian Aviation for an upcoming podcast, Bonza CEO Tim Jordan flagged that the airline would continue to axe unpopular routes as it developed its network.

“Just like when you go down to your favourite restaurant or takeaway, there’s things that get moved off the menu,” he said.

“We’re going to be no different in the fact that if something’s not working for us, we’re going to be taking it off the menu and we will juggle the aircraft capacity to where it’s needed, and that’s just a rational business going about its business.”

Bonza currently serves 21 destinations, with 84 per cent of its 38 routes not served by any other airline and 89 per cent not served by any other low-cost carrier.

The airline this week marked one year since its inaugural flight on 31 January, 2023, saying it had flown 750,000 people in its first 12 months.

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