Bonza names third 737 Sheila – alongside Bazza and Shazza – Australian Aviation

Bonza’s second 737 MAX, Bazza, lands on the Sunshine Coast

Bonza has announced that its third 737 MAX will be named Sheila after the name won a public vote.

It comes after Australian Aviation exclusively revealed how the airline quietly registered its newest aircraft, VH-UBI, as it neared takeoff.

The company had hoped to start operations last month but will not be able to do so until it has received the crucial Air Operators Certificate.

Bonza initially planned to launch with a fleet of two to three MAXs before increasing its ambition to eight.

Nevertheless, a fleet of three would be sufficient to put some of the planned 27 routes into operation in a staggered manner.

Bonza’s chief commercial officer Carly Povey said Sheila beat the competition from Robbo, Kimmy and Bruce.

“We can reveal it was a close race between our shortlist of true blue names for our third plane, which will be next to arrive at Bonza’s Sunshine Coast backyard,” said Povey.

“Our team of Legends looks forward to welcoming Sheila to the Australian coast, where Shazza and Bazza await.

“It was so much fun asking Australian travelers to help us name our planes. We sought their input for our fleet names and our inflight menu, which we are about to unveil.”

When Bonza goes into commercial operation, it will offer so-called “point-to-point” leisure services not served by capital city-focused companies Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin and Rex.

Bonza said 93 percent of its network — 25 of its 27 routes — is not currently served by any other airline, while 96 percent is not served by any other low-cost airline. Flights are expected to cost around US$50 per flight hour.

Destinations on Bonza’s original route map include Melbourne, Avalon, Sunshine Coast, Mildura, Albury, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Mackay, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Tamworth, Townsville, Whitsunday Coast, Bundaberg, Gladstone and Toowoomba.

Australian Aviation has documented Bonza’s progress with a series of exclusive reports.

The formal acquisition of a new aircraft, VH-UBI, came after Australian Aviation announced that its second, VH-UIK, was en route to Australia and its first, VH-UJT, was flying up and down the east coast.

In September, we released exclusive photos showing two more of his 737 MAX being painted in his purple livery at the Boneyard in the Victorville desert.

The plane initially appeared to be operated by LOT Polish Airlines, which also operated Bonza’s first 737.

Bonza’s launch is awaiting the Air Operators Certificate and the airline hired former Virgin Australia GM of Operations Planning to lead the negotiations in May.

The company said Young’s responsibilities would also include flight and cabin crew, engineering, ground services and on-time performance.

He will also help lead the recruitment of 200 flight attendants and pilots.

The appointment of a big hitter is seen as a coup given his six years in a similar position at Virgin and Tiger.

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