Low-fare operator Bonza has been cleared for take-off by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority which has issued it an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC).
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The AOC is the regulatory approval required by Bonza to fly scheduled passenger-carrying flights in Australia.
A specialist CASA team has been working with Bonza since it submitted its application last year, progressively assessing various components and providing feedback.
CASA Director of Aviation Safety and Chief Executive Officer Pip Spence said Bonza went through a rigorous assessment and validation process to ensure it could operate safely.
‘This is a significant milestone and we congratulate Bonza on achieving its air operator’s certificate,’ Ms Spence said.
CASA said that it and Bonza teams worked collaboratively throughout the application to ensure the airline’s operations met Australia’s high aviation safety standards.
“I would especially like to acknowledge Bonza’s willingness to work with us on this complex process.”
Ms Spence said the AOC process was designed to ensure that everyone boarding an aircraft in Australia could do so with confidence and the knowledge they were travelling safely.
“All commercial operators in Australia have to go through this process, which considers how the operator will meet the required safety standards,” she said.
“Our assessment includes a thorough examination of technical documentation as well as verification and testing. The process examines whether the airline has the facilities, processes and appropriately trained personnel to comply with their operations manual.
“It involves conducting assessments of the carrier’s proposed operations, facilities, aircraft and the aerodromes to which they operate to ensure that they meet our safety requirements.
“Australia has one of the safest aviation industries in the world and travellers should be assured when they get on a Bonza aircraft that the operator has been assessed in detail to ensure it complies with the same safety requirements as other Australian airlines.”
Bonza’s initial route map is for 17 destinations and 27 routes, 93 per cent of which are not currently served by any other airline and 96 per cent of which currently have no low-cost carrier.
“This is a historic moment for Australian aviation as we get ready to launch the first high-capacity airline in more than 15 years, and the country’s only independent low-cost carrier,” said Tim Jordan, CEO of Bonza.
“The excitement for what we are about to deliver is palpable and the timing couldn’t be better. Demand for domestic travel is high and Aussies deserve for travel to be a basic right for many, not a luxury for the few. This has never been truer with today’s cost of living challenges. With the approval from CASA, 2023 is set to be the year of seeing more of your own backyard for less,” added Mr Jordan.
Bonza will soon go on sale with its Sunshine Coast base followed by its Melbourne base. Mr Jordan urges Australians to download the Fly Bonza app and sign up to be the first to know when its initial phase of flights will be available.
“I’d like to thank our team of legends who have worked very hard to achieve today’s milestone working alongside CASA who do incredibly important work regulating Australian aviation. Now, our focus turns to connect communities and we hope to see many Aussies onboard soon,” added Mr Jordan.
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