Australia’s newest airline, Bonza, continues with the rollout of its new route network with the opening this week of its base in Melbourne, Victoria. The opening comes as figures show they’ve sold over 100,000 seats since commencing operation two months ago. Will the strategy of offering budget fares for Melburnians to access the warmer weather of Queensland and points north be sustainable in the medium to long term? Will other airlines move to match their destinations and pricing? Business is busss, after all. We’ll continue to watch with interest.
Qantas meantime has ventured into the sustainability stakes from another angle: biofuels. Partnering with Queensland based biofuel manufacturer LanzaJet & JetZero Australia, the airline will aim to jointly fund the construction of a facility to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The proposed facility will utilise LanzaJet’s alcohol-to-jet technology to produce up to 100 million litres of SAF per year. Construction is expected to start in 2024.
The Royal Australian Air Force has returned from a successful Exercise Cope North in Guam, testing new strategies for the use of its C-27J Spartan fleet. The platform continues to evolve for the RAAF, having been re-classified in 2021 from that of a battlefield airlifter to “Light Tactical Fixed Wing Airlifter,” preventing its use in “hot” environments due to issues with its self-protection systems. This exercise allowed it to demonstrate its suitability for operations in “warm” environments and not just for Humanitarian Assistance / Disaster Relief operations (HADR).