Former Cebu Pacific executive launching U.S. backed Australian airline
Former Cebu Pacific chief commercial officer and FlyArystan chief executive, Tim Jordan, is taking on a new challenge with an audacious plan to launch a low-cost Australian carrier called Bonza. Read More » The new domestic entrant is backed by U.S. based private investment firm, 777 Partners, and intends to launch next year with fuel efficient 737 MAX 8 aircraft, subject to regulatory approval. Jordan and his backers believe there is scope for an independent, ultra-low-cost entrant in the Australian market despite the existing battle for market share between Qantas Group, Singapore-backed Regional Express and Bain Capital’s Virgin Australia. Jordan argues Australia is the only top 15 aviation market to have one LCC. Bonza will enter a market that has thwarted several previous attempts to launch LCCs, including an ill-fated bid by Singapore Airlines. However, Jordan has a quarter century of aviation experience under his belt, including in the Australian market with Virgin Blue, and is joined by another Virgin Blue veteran, Rick Howell. 777’s aviation interests include Canadian budget carrier, Flare Airlines, and the investment company has an expanding aircraft portfolio after recently signing a deal with Boeing for 24 MAXs with purchase rights for 60 more. Bonza has yet to publicly outline specific plans for routes and fares, but it will be avoiding the highly competitive Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne triangle in favour of regional and leisure destinations. What it will be doing, officials said, is offering consistent ultra-low-fares and new travel options. “Bonza will deliver enormous benefits to all Australians, but particularly to regional communities by providing more travel opportunities,’’ Jordan said in today’s announcement. “Bonza also will play a leading role in Australia’s post-pandemic recovery — creating jobs, stimulating travel and consumer spending and helping regional communities, especially those that rely on tourism, get back on their feet.” 777 partners managing partner, Josh Wander, said the investment firm saw huge potential in the Australian market to deliver the benefits and options brought by an independent low-fare airline. He described Jordan and his team as “the right people at the right time to deliver affordable airfares to the Australian market”.