Mayor Seeks State Help After Bonza Collapse

Sunshine Coast Council

Mayor Natoli has written to Premier Steven Miles seeking a meeting to discuss the economic impacts on the region, which could exceed $100 million.

Those affected include the airline’s 150 staff, as well as suppliers, cleaning, catering and support services and the many accommodation providers, restaurants, retailers, car rental and attractions, who had benefited from the record numbers of visitors brought in by Bonza.

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 per cent 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.

Local businesses throughout the region 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.

In addition, the airline had established its headquarters on the Sunshine Coast with an estimated 150 staff in the region.

Mayor Natoli said the region had benefited significantly from Bonza Airlines being located here.

“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.

“I’ve 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.

“Many of these businesses will now be joining the reported 60,000 creditors in a lengthy process with the hope of recouping some of their 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.

“Whilst we are hopeful a solution might be found to allow Bonza to resume operations, the likelihood of this outcome now appears remote – which is why we need Queensland Government support now to mitigate the impacts on our community.”

/Public Release. View in full here.