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Preview inside Australia’s new airline Bonza and the uniform

Australia’s newest low-budget airline, which will welcome its first aircraft in July, has unveiled a big twist in what passengers will see on board.

Australia’s newest low-cost airline Bonza is ramping up its launch, unveiling its brand new uniform ahead of its official launch later this year.

At a sneak peak ‘not-so-uniform’ launch on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland on Thursday, the airline “threw out the rule books” and unveiled a very unique uniform for both captain, ground staff and cabin crew.

Instead of unified attire, matching jackets and a signature lip color — the Bonza crew will essentially be able to mix and match what they wear in the air.

From shorts and a T-shirt, to a purple pinstripe dress — nothing is off limits.

“Our brief was clear. Create a uniform that Bonza legends will wear with pride,” said Carly Povey, Chief Commercial Officer at Bonza.

“We know airline uniforms are the land that time forgot and we wanted to change that.”

Speaking ahead of the media launch, the uniform’s lead designer, Pamela Jabbour of Total Image Group, said the brief was simple — “keep it fun, vibrant and reflecting the ‘now’”.

“The world has changed, and so have we, so the uniforms had to be brought forward,” she said on Thursday.

“There’s no rules [with the uniforms]. There’s so many options, and lots of different ways to wear it. The main item in the uniform is a T(-shirt), something that has never been done. A white T looks good on everyone and it’s a classic item they can style in so many different ways, like with a blazer or with shorts. And of course, pair with my favorite part — the sneakers.”

Ms Povey added that in terms of grooming, the airline will not dictate a certain lip color or hair style either. Instead cabin crew, pilots, operation center and office staff will be able to style various looks depending on where they’re traveling to, their mood on the day and personalities.

“We won’t dictate what lipstick to wear – or whether you have to wear lipstick at all,” she said.

“We won’t ask crew to cover up their tattoos and just because you’re female, that doesn’t mean you have to wear a skirt. If you’re non-binary, pregnant, work in the office or on-board, we have options for you.”

Earlier this year, the airline revealed its first routes across the country and fares for as little as $50.

Of the new routes, Bonza announced the first 16 destinations it planned to fly to, with 25 new routes coming for jetsetting Aussies.

While Sydney didn’t land a spot on Bonza’s launch list, the Sunshine Coast and Melbourne nabbed some of the first spots. The fleet will be based at Sunshine Coast Airport in Queensland with Melbourne serving as a secondary hub.

The Sunshine Coast, a popular tourist hotspot with the coastal towns of Noosa and nearby Mooloolaba, will account for 12 of Bonza’s first 25 routes while Melbourne Airport will have eight routes.

In October, the airline’s CEO Tim Jordan said he hoped the new airline would bring “more choice to Aussies from a leisure perspective”.

Speaking at the event on Thursday, Mr Jordan said the first aircraft will be arriving in July, and the uniform launch was a little taste in what the airline will have on offer.

Bonza fares would be similar to Jetstar, with one hour flights costing around $50 while longer flights would cost around $75 to $100.

Mr Jordan, who has worked in the aviation industry for more than 20 years and has been behind some of the world’s most successful budget airlines, previously said the company wasn’t looking to take business from the already successful and well-established airlines in Australia , including Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar, but was instead gearing up to fill a gap in the market.

“This isn’t about stealing traffic from business carriers. They’re already doing their job very well. We want to stimulate new travel to new destinations. We will absolutely serve and represent the whole country,” he said back in October.

Despite ballooning fuel costs, Mr Jordan said Bonza will get fares low by flying on a lower frequency basis, with the airline boss suggesting their 737s could visit regional centers two, three or four times a week.

“Instead of costing $200 to get on an aircraft in a region, it’ll be somewhere between $50 and $100 to get on an aircraft,” he said.

“This won’t be about stunt fares, we’ve all seen $29 and $19 fares, they’re very easy to do but what generally happens in those circumstances is you upset quite a few people because not everybody gets them and people miss out and that isn’t a great way to treat a customer.

“And while I’m sure we’ll have some headline grabbing fares, it’s about sustainable, lower, average fares. We will be offering much lower fares across the country than is currently happening.”

The launch of the ‘low cost’ carrier comes at a time when rival REX has pulled out of many regional routes that once boomed for the airline, such as Ballina, Canberra, Bathurst and Kangaroo Island.

REX’s Deputy Chairman, the Hon John Sharp AM claimed the reason for the cull was down to “bullying” from Qantas.

“It is unfortunate that these regional communities are the collateral damage of Qantas’ bullying and heartless behavior,” said Mr Sharp earlier this month.

“This behavior is all the more unconscionable after receiving more than $2 billion in Federal bailouts over the past two years.”

“Qantas’ well-publicized predatory actions on Rex’s regional routes have meant Rex no longer has the ability to cross subsidize these marginal routes.”

Qantas however, said Rex’s statement was “just ridiculous”. They said the assertions were an example of the regional career attempting to “cook up more weird conspiracy theories”.

“Rex’s claims against Qantas have become so far-fetched, we had to create a dedicated page on our website to rebut them and update it on a fairly regular basis,” they said in a statement to news.com.au.

“Rex is always looking to blame others when it withdraws from regional routes, but none of its claims stack up to scrutiny.”

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