SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA — Bonza, an Australian low-cost startup, successfully operated its first commercial flight on Jan. 31st, only three weeks after obtaining its air operator's certificate.

The maiden flight, AB777, was operated by a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft registered as VH-UIK and took off from Sunshine Coast airport for Whitsunday Coast. According to flight tracking data, the journey lasted approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Bonza, the first independent low-cost carrier in Australia in nearly a decade, has been backed by Miami-based private equity firm 777 Partners. The firm, which also owns Canadian low-cost operator Flair Airlines, provided the airline with its first Boeing 737 MAX 8 in August 2022, which came from 777 Partners' orderbook. Currently, Bonza operates with a fleet of three MAX 8 aircraft.

The airline will initially serve 17 Australian cities on 27 routes.