August 1, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

Singapore Airlines Group (SIA Group) has reported its second highest quarterly operating profit in history, while new low-cost Australian domestic carrier Bonza has received its first aircraft on the Sunshine Coast.

A big return to profit

SIA Group – comprising Singapore Airlines, Silk Air and low-cost carrier Scoot – has reported a SG$566 million operating profit for the first quarter of its 2022/2023 financial year, which ran April to June, a SG$623 million improvement on the previous quarter, when the airline posted a SG$67 million loss.

The profit comes after the airline lifted its capacity from 47 per cent in the January to March quarter to 61 per cent in the latest quarter. The operating profit came despite a 40 per cent increase in fuel prices.

Revenue for passengers flown within the quarter was up 119 per cent quarter-on-quarter as both Singapore and the world eased pandemic-era travel restrictions. The airline group also reported a 126 per cent growth in passenger traffic. The three airlines carried 5.1 million passengers between them during the quarter, a 158 per cent increase on the previous quarter and 14 times higher than the year before. The majority of passengers were carried by Singapore Airline and Silk Air.

Planes are also getting fuller, with the passenger load factor more than doubling from 34.1 per cent in the previous quarter to 79 per cent in the latest quarter.

Singapore Airlines flies to eight Australian destinations and two in New Zealand.

Bonza’s first aircraft arrives on Australian soil

New low-cost Australian carrier Bonza, which could help regional Australians attend more conference in Melbourne and Sunshine Coast before the year is out, has received the first plane of its fleet into Australia, on the Sunshine Coast, this morning.

The new airline which is hoping to start consumer flights as soon as late next month, will initially offer 27 routes, covering 17 destinations. In terms of developed conferencing destinations, Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast are set to benefit most from Bonza’s entry into the market, with both destinations welcoming the lion’s share of routes and flights on the carrier. The airline’s head office will be on the Sunshine Coast, with major operations also based in Melbourne.

“We are beyond excited to welcome our first aircraft to Sunshine Coast Airport and with so much buzz around the country for Bonza, we hope today is also exciting for the communities we’ll be flying to,” said Bonza’s CEO Tim Jordan.

“Our team of legends have been working hard behind the scenes to reach this significant milestone and so it was important that we were all here to welcome flight AB 001 together.

“This is an exciting time for Australian aviation and most importantly, the Aussie travelling public who will now enjoy more choice.”

Over 90 per cent of Bonza’s current routes are not serviced by any other airline, providing an almost unprecedented boost in connectivity, primarily for regional flyers.

Although today’s arrival will be a spare plane for the new carrier, Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie said this morning’s touchdown represented a “momentous day” for the Sunshine Coast.

“Our partnership with Bonza will benefit the region, state and community connecting more people to more places,” he said.

“The arrival of Bonza is a game changer for the Sunshine Coast that will create more local jobs and spearhead tourism and business growth across the wider region.”

The plane will undergo its final interior fit out in Australia. Bonza is still in the regulatory process that will clear it to fly.