Local families heading north for the upcoming Christmas holidays have had their plans thrown into chaos, after budget airline Bonza cancelled flights from Avalon to the Gold Coast just hours before the service was due to launch.
The first Avalon-Coolangatta flight was scheduled to take off Tuesday morning but Bonza’s Monday afternoon announcement left passengers scrambling to make alternative arrangements.
The airline declined Geelong Broadcasters’ request for an interview but in a statement said the service had been deferred because of issues securing an aircraft.
Bonza is in the process of leasing an aircraft from US-based airline Flair, however the process of gaining regulatory approvals appears to be progressing slower than planned.
“As a result, we’ve had to make the regrettable decision to defer some routes to/from the Gold Coast including Avalon,” the statement read.
“The new start date for the impacted routes is currently being worked through but we remain very committed to offering a service to the Geelong market and deeply apologise for having to make this decision.”
Bonza said it was now contacting impacted customers.
“Customers will be contacted by us in date order (based on their date of travel) and will be automatically offered a full refund.
“We are acutely aware of the impact this has on our customers and we are very sorry for this.”