A targeted mid-year launch by Bonza (BNZ, Sunshine Coast) has been delayed until after August 2022 following a later-than-expected arrival of its first B737-8 MAX, according to an open letter by Chief Commercial Officer Carly Povey.

"We now have confirmation of when our first aircraft will touch down on Aussie shores. This is slightly later than first expected but gives us the clarity we need to map out the in-country process that starts once they touch down. So with that in mind, I can confirm that you shouldn't wait for us to lock in your essential July and August travel plans," she said.

As reported, the startup had hoped to debut in mid-2022, subject to regulatory approval. The delivery of the aircraft is a key step in its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) application process.

"We're getting closer to take-off, which means we're getting clearer on potential start dates. Having this locked in is key to going on sale with our first wave of flights," Povey said.

Meanwhile, the company was recruiting "hundreds of Bonza legends", progressing through the regulatory process, testing its all-Aussie menu, readying its uniforms, and finalising onboard details from seat headrests to lighting, she added.

"The response we've had since announcing our initial 17 destinations and 27 routes has been nothing but Bonza," Covey said.

Bonza previously announced it would have the main base and head office at Sunshine Coast airport and a secondary base at Melbourne Tullamarine from where it planned to grow the market by mainly serving previously-unserved routes. It plans to station two B737-8s at each airport. The current route map accounts for the first five aircraft. In its first year of operation, Bonza intends to scale up to eight B737-8s, with one aircraft kept as a spare. The aircraft are being leased from its US shareholder, 777 Partners, which also has a minority share in Canada's Flair Airlines (F8, Kelowna).