Qantas CEO: We will go “to war” with Bonza


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qantas alan joyce

qantas alan joyce

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has said that Qantas is ready to protect its “market share” against Bonza, a new entrant in the market.

It doesn’t mean his company won’t actively take on Australia’s newest airline, Joyce said, despite the ACCC’s framework. He said there are “no other markets like this in the world”.

With two to three new 737 MAXs, Bonza will fly “point-to-point” leisure routes not currently served by Qantas, Virgin, or Rex.

Speaking at CAPA Aviation’s conference, Joyce stated that the ACCC was one of the world’s most effective competition authorities.

If you want to be competitive, yes, but it does not imply you can’t.”

So how are we going to compete? Are we going to make sure that our product and service and airfares are the most competitive? Given that this is the most competitive market globally, I’m sure Bonza assumes that.

Despite the statements of Bonza and Joyce, Qantas has been steadily expanding its network into new markets, particularly regional ones, over the previous 18 months. As such, few routes remain untapped, according to Joyce.

As of today, we’ve launched nearly 50 new domestic flights. So I would assume that we’ve covered most of them, but it’s possible that we haven’t if they can develop a way to monetise a distinct value proposition. We should be ashamed of ourselves if we haven’t taken advantage of this excellent opportunity.”

Founder Tim Jordan told the Australian Aviation Podcast that 30 airports had already “responded favourably” to a request to begin routes when Bonza first revealed its plans to launch next year.

It was the day after we announced our partnership that we put out a request for interest to around 45 different airports in Australia, ‘Would you like to be our airport partners?’” Put your hand up and let us know how you can motivate us to create additional routes, and we’ll bring you many more customers.” We’ve had a great response from our airport partners. More than 30 airports have answered positively at the time of my latest check.”

Aside from Joyce, several people doubted the new airline’s ability to succeed. In a recent interview, Rex Deputy Chairman John Sharp voiced his doubts that the company would be ready to launch in early 2022 — or even at all.

While Bonza was still in the process of receiving its Air Operator Certificate from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Sharp claimed it often took more than 12 months to complete.

Tim Jordan, the CEO of Bonza, previously said that CASA was initially informed of Bonza’s planned launch in October 2020, which Sharp claims suggest the new airline could miss its scheduled Q2 2022 launch.

Sharp said in the Future Flying forum, “Bonza claims that they will be operational early next year—only that’s three months away.”

If you can receive a certificate for a high-capacity air operator in less than 12 months, you’ll have to wait another year.” They’ll never begin, and I don’t see it getting any better.”

Regardless of the optimistic schedule, Sharp appeared unenthusiastic about Bonza’s chances of success, given the failure of other comparable start-ups.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been in this game,” he remarked.

“And every few years, someone would come out during that time. As a rule, they’re either former employees of an airline or a group of pilots who believe they can run an airline better than the current management team. “They join together, they put a strategy together”. They’re pretty confident about it, and it sounds wonderful. They create a lot of noise and then, when they realise the truth, they disappear.”

Even as many people are perplexed by Bonza’s plans to fly Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into underserved markets, Sharp wondered what routes the current airlines aren’t already pursuing and are capable of handling such a large aircraft and which have just enough demand to sustain a new market player.

Those markets are a mystery to us… what are they?” Qantas, Virgin or Rex would be servicing them if they are worth flying,” he said.

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