Australia’s aviation authorities have issued an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to new Australian airline Bonza after the carrier submitted final documents and successfully completed proving flights.

The soon-to-launch carrier plans to open up routes to more of the country’s regional destinations, flying 27 routes to 17 locations, and offering low-cost fares in the process.

Bonza chief executive Tim Jordan said: “This is an 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. With the approval from CASA, 2023 is set to be the year of seeing more of your own backyard for less.”

A specialist team at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority had 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 Pip Spence said Bonza went through a rigorous assessment and validation process to ensure it could operate safely.

Federal Transport Minister Catherine King said Bonza would boost competition in the sector, leading to downward pressure on fares. ‘The Australian Government welcomes the entry of a new airline into the Australian market, with Bonza today being granted its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from CASA following a rigorous assessment process.’

‘This is a significant milestone for Australian aviation, marking the first new high-capacity entrant into the Australian market since the launch of Tiger Airways over 15 years ago.’

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