Coast faces $100m hit from Bonza loss

Bonza Airlines plane
The loss of Bonza Airlines will have a major economic impact on the Sunshine Coast region. | Photo: David F (iStock)

The Sunshine Coast region faces an economic hit of more than $100 million due to the loss of Bonza Airlines.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Rosanna Natoli has written to Queensland Premier Steven Miles seeking a meeting to discuss the economic impacts on the region.

Mayor Natoli said the closure of the airline, which had its headquarters on the Sunshine Coast, affected not only the airline’s 150 staff, but suppliers, cleaning, catering and support services as well as the region’s accommodation providers, restaurants, retailers, car rental and attractions, who had benefited from the visitors brought in by Bonza.

She said since Australia’s only independent low-cost carrier started in January 2023, more than 490,000 additional passengers travelled through Sunshine Coast Airport representing more than 20 percent of the airport’s activity.

“Bonza had provided a much-needed increase in air capacity, which was a huge boost to the tourism industry and contributed towards record spending by holidaymakers on the Coast last year,” she said.

Mayor Natoli said local businesses benefitted from the additional passengers that travelled directly into the Sunshine Coast from intrastate and interstate locations across Australia including Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and the Northern Territory – destinations that were not previously directly connected.

“Its presence, along with the other major airlines, helped achieve a record number of interstate visitors last year,” Mayor Natoli said.

“I have written to the Premier of Queensland to explain what this loss means to our region (and) requested an opportunity to discuss options and talk through how we can work in partnership with the Queensland Government to recover from Bonza’s sudden and disappointing collapse.

“The annual economic impact associated with the loss of Bonza is likely to exceed $100 million and will be felt hard, particularly by the region’s smaller businesses.”

Mayor Natoli said many of those businesses would be joining the reported 60,000 creditors in the lengthy process to recoup some losses.

“The number of indirect jobs affected by the sudden closure is also likely to be significant with dozens of businesses impacted.

“The majority of products sold on board Bonza were supplied by 11 SEQ based suppliers.”


Sunshine Coast Mayor Rosanna Natoli. | Newsreel
Sunshine Coast Mayor Rosanna Natoli says the loss of Bonza Airlines will have a major economic impact on the region. | Photo: Supplied by Sunshine Coast Council

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