Australian airline startup Bonza isn’t in the air yet, but that hasn’t stopped thousands of people from applying for jobs at the airline. According to the airline’s CEO, Tim Jordan, Bonza had thousands of applications in the space of a few days.
A surplus of skilled airline professionals looking for work
Speaking to Australian Aviation last week, Mr Jordan said Bonza had been swamped with job applications and expressions of interest. He says there’s a glut of out-of-work airline industry professionals, and that’s driving interest in his new airline.
“There are some wonderful and experienced aviation professionals available out there who are looking to get themselves back into the industry,” Mr Jordan said.
Bonza introduced itself in a flurry of publicity earlier this year. Backed by offshore investment partners with very deep pockets, Bonza aims to be flying in Australia by the middle of 2022.
The airline will start with a handful of MAX 8s but plans to increase that to eight MAXs within 12 months of first flying. If Tim Jordan pulls this off, his airline will become the first Australia-based airline flying Boeing’s MAXs.
Lot’s of jobs on offer at Bonza
Bonza’s employment expressions of interest form is relatively straightforward. Prospective employees need to have the right to live and work in Australia. Bonza asks whether the candidate is interested in working full-time, part-time, or casual and if they are seeking a leadership role.
The application process also asks where prospective employees would like to work from and gives a drop-down menu of all Australian states and territories. This doesn’t mean Bonza plans to fly to all states and territories. Instead, it suggests that employees can do many back-office roles like sales and administration remotely.
A final drop-down menu asks candidates to select what type of roles they are interested in. They range from operational and crew roles to commercial and sales roles.
While the number of crew onboard a narrowbody Boeing is small – usually two pilots and three to four flight attendants, a crew cannot work 24/7, so different crews need to be rotated through each aircraft.
And, of course, there are the scores of ground and back-office employees that support each plane. They also need to be rostered on and off, with substitutes available. One 737 MAX needs a substantial ecosystem of people to keep it in the air.
Bonza has already filled several key leadership roles, a move that signals Bonza’s startup plans are on track and progressing well.
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No word on first base for an airline with a regional focus
The startup airline is attracting plenty of attention in Australia, not least for its slightly off-beat proposed operated model. Bonza doesn’t plan to snatch market share from existing airlines on existing routes. Instead, it wants to forge its own way, creating new markets on new routes.
Tim Jordan is eyeing unserved or underserved routes, focusing on regional areas. So far, he’s keeping quiet on exactly where Bonza will fly. He hasn’t even said where Bonza would initially be based, other than to point to northern New South Wales or southeast Queensland.
But Mr Jordan has said he expects to have two bases within the first year of operation. If we stick with Bonza’s regional focus and rule out Brisbane, that leaves 737 MAX capable airports like the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, the Gold Coast, Ballina, and Coffs Harbour all possible candidates.
For the time being, Tim Jordan seems happy to keep everyone guessing and engaged. For many of Bonza’s future employees, any of these locations could emerge as their future head office and go-to airport.