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20240329 Bonza Kenilworth-23It’s a sweet start to the holidays for many Aussie travellers today with the launch of Bonza’s new Sunshine Coast to Launceston route connecting the two popular food bowl hotspots directly for the first time.

The new service from Australia’s only independent low-cost carrier is getting wheels up just in time for the Easter long weekend and will operate twice weekly on Monday and Friday with flights from just $89 per person (one way).

To mark the historic occasion, Bonza has partnered with the Sunshine Coast’s Kenilworth Bakery, famous for its epic 1kg donut challenge, to create a limited edition Bonza ‘hotXnut’ – a cross between a hot cross bun and a donut – to celebrate the agritourism opportunities the new route offers to Australian foodie travellers.

“Aussies are eating their way across our big beautiful backyard and our team of Bonza legends are humbled to help Launnie and Sunny Coast locals get a better taste of both regions. Sunshine Coast and Launceston are steeped in rich paddock-to-plate experiences and home to proud local food and drink producers,” said Tim Jordan, Bonza CEO.

With more than 900 producers calling the Sunshine Coast home, the region has been dubbed Queensland’s Sunshine Pantry with food and drinks crafted by creators dedicated to innovation and sustainability. Launceston has been recognised by UNESCO as a City of Gastronomy with an abundance of local producers, a world-class wine region, and low-food miles.

It’s the low-cost airline’s 12th route from its home base at Sunshine Coast Airport and second route from Launceston Airport. The non-stop connection between Sunshine Coast Airport and Launceston Airport makes it easier for Tasmanians to swap their Tassie tuxedos for a surfboard, while Sunny Coasters can chill out and discover Tasmanian treasures across the Apple Isle.

“Our mission is to make air travel affordable for the many, not the few while stimulating new tourism markets, so this service marks the beginning of economic opportunities between the Sunshine Coast and Launceston.”

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Chris Mills said the new route would be a boost for both regions, increasing travel between the two destinations by both locals and tourists alike.

“The Sunshine Coast and Launceston are two incredibly popular destinations. The Sunshine Coast has stunning beaches, restaurants and experiences, and Launceston has a rich heritage, natural wonders and is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy,” said Mr Mills.

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“The new twice-weekly service will operate Mondays and Fridays with more than 38,000 seats available annually between the tourism hotspots.

“This will be the first direct commercial flight in history between the Sunshine Coast and Tasmania, creating new opportunities for both regions. The first flight from the Sunshine Coast is full and future bookings are looking really strong.

“Launceston is now the 12th destination serviced by Bonza from Sunshine Coast Airport and is launching just in time for the Easter long weekend and school holidays.”

Launceston Airport CEO Shane O’Hare said the airport was experiencing a period of rapid growth which Bonza has played a key part in.

“We’re the fastest growing airport in the state and today, thanks to Bonza, we become the first airport in the state to unlock the entire south-east Queensland market with non-stop services to Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

“Since the pandemic we’ve doubled our non-stop flight network, with links now to all Australian state capital cities plus Bonza’s holiday hot spots opening up a national network for tourism and freight opportunities.

“The first flight is already sold out and forward bookings are looking very strong, with Tasmanians taking the chance to break up the winter with a long weekend beach getaway and south-east Queenslanders keen to explore the natural wonders and gastronomic delights of Launceston and its surrounds.”