australian aviation logo

Bonza flies more Rockhampton passengers than city’s population

written by Jake Nelson | March 13, 2024

Bonza 737 MAX 8, VH-UIK ‘Bazza’, in Rockhampton. (Image: Bonza)

Bonza has flown more passengers into and out of Rockhampton than its entire population in the first 12 months of servicing the central Queensland destination.

The airline says it has flown more than 100,000 people to and from Rockhampton since its first flight to the city, which at the 2021 census had just under 80,000 residents, on 13 March last year. Bonza flies from Rockhampton to Townsville, Cairns, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, and the Sunshine Coast.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Rockhampton locals have embraced Bonza and are able to pack their bags for well-deserved trips to some of Australia’s most popular holiday hotspots,” said Bonza CEO Tim Jordan.

“Likewise, we’re opening up Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast to more visitors who are discovering the region is home to the Great Barrier Reef, Great Keppel Island and Pumpkin Island.

“We expect the Bonza Effect to bring considerable savings to domestic travellers this year and beyond while also benefiting Rocky’s many small to medium businesses who make up the local tourism and hospitality industries.”


Rockhampton Airport last year saw a surge in passenger numbers, with 582,034 people passing through the terminal in 2022–23, a figure which exceeded the projected 497,500, and which Rockhampton’s Airport Councillor Neil Fisher credited partially to Bonza.

“We haven’t seen figures like this since before the COVID-19 pandemic which saw a big decline in passengers transiting through the airport due to reduced travel, both domestically and internationally,” he said in August.

“With the Rockhampton Region (LGA) attracting the largest number of visitors in the Central Queensland region for the year ending March 2023, it’s no surprise that we have far surpassed the projected passenger number targets.

“Our increased passenger numbers can be attributed to a combination of factors, including enhanced connectivity, increased flight options, and a strong commitment to maintaining high levels of service quality and customer satisfaction.”

Despite the overall success of Rockhampton, Bonza announced earlier this year that it would cut its direct services from the city to Townsville at the end of this month, with a spokesperson saying the route is unpopular among passengers.

“Both the Townsville and Rockhampton communities have greatly supported the other routes, which we remain committed to provided there’s ongoing demand,” the spokesperson said.

“It’s standard practice within aviation, as with most industries, that when a route/product doesn’t perform well, it’s reassessed and the resources reallocated to deliver a better outcome.”

Jordan has told Australian Aviation he is hopeful Bonza will break even this year.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

Leave a Comment

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.