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BONZA Airlines: Delayed start, Australian food, and uniforms announced

BONZA Airlines: Delayed start, Australian food, and uniforms announced

We haven’t heard a lot from Bonza, and unfortunately, I missed a few of their announcements – possibly because they bury the lead at about paragraph 4 of their releases.

Launch

Bonza had promised to start operations in the middle of 2022. That was universally seen as optimistic and not allowing enough time for regulatory approval for a start, let alone plane delivery and staff recruitment and training. So it is no surprise …

Delayed start – open letter

Back on 18 May in an open letter, Carly Povey, Bonza’s Chief Commercial Officer told us:

‘ . . . you shouldn’t wait for us to lock in your essential July and August travel plans.’

Which by default means they hope to start flying in September, hopeful that their first 3 Boeing 737 Max planes will have arrived.

This is not exactly the openness promised in the accompanying press release:

‘The letter aims to set the tone of a refreshingly open consumer brand that doesn’t leave customers hanging.’

FlyBonza press release 18 May 2022

However, ‘leaving customers hanging is exactly what it does do!

‘After all, you can’t be called Bonza and not be fair dinkum…’

Exactly!

Food will be all Australian, Fair dinkum!

Food on Bonza will be provided by an ‘onboard retail partner’:

“The brief to our onboard catering partner was clear. We’re here to shake things up and stay true to our values
of being here for ‘Allstralia’.”

Carly Povey, CCO

That means ‘no option for popular global international soft drink or chip brands.’ according to the 9 April 2022 release. So you can forget about Coke and Pepsi and Pringles.

Non-binary Uniforms

Bonza is adopting a ‘wear it your way’ approach for its ‘legends’ uniforms, which is the term Bonza uses to refer to its cabin crew and staff. Another debasement of a term that has a specific meaning.

The collection includes white sneakers, cotton t-shirts, tailored shorts, a blazer, pants, shirt dress, sleeveless coat, branded socks and a versatile scarf. The feature colour is purple but used deftly on collars, lining, cuffs and the scarf.

The airline is also not implementing grooming standards like specifying lipstick or covering tattoos. They are also abandoning pilots caps, claiming in an appeal to customers’ pockets that it was ‘better to pass that saving to our customers.’ Sure, right.

“My goal was for the uniforms to reflect the excitement and optimism that Bonza brings to Aussie travellers. They’re ditching the rule book in every way and the uniforms are no exception. Instead of pantyhose, polyester shirts, black high heels and traditional embroidery – we have created a uniform that reflects current trends and that legends will wear with pride.”

Total Image Group Head Designer and CEO, Pamela Jabbour

To my view, the interpretation of the Bonza branding is a little literal, using block colours and the thumbs-up logo repeatedly.

Sunnies subsidy world first!

I nearly had to laugh at this. Bonza will subsidise the cost of branded environmentally aware sunglasses. I don’t think the PR people found it a bit of a joke when they highlighted this in the release:

“We intend to offer additional options to legends and to be the first airline to offer a sunnies subsidy, should crew wish to purchase Australian made sunglasses that will be made from recycled materials,”

Carly Povey, Chief Commercial Officer, Bonza

2PAXfly Takeout

Now, I am willing to admit that I may be a bit harsh in my cynicism about Bonza, but I think the adoption of Aussie lingo is almost quaint in the way it harks back to simpler times but uses the hyperbole of modern marketing.

My cynicism extends to Bonza’s inter-regional route model not centred on the populations in capital cities. On the other hand with a significant percentage of city-based populations moving to regional centres during the pandemic, maybe Bonza is onto something.

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