Why a new budget airline wants you in budgie smugglers

The Bonza Budgies are just a hint of things to come when Total Image Group reveal the airline's uniform this year.

It’s the collaboration you mightn’t think would land — a new budget airline has announced a swimwear line called Bonza Budgies that’s as brief as the name sounds.

Bonza, self-described as Australia’s only independent low-cost carrier, is working with Total Image Group on the collaboration that’ll see a lurid purple swimwear for him and her splashed with a logo and a cheeky thumbs up on the buttocks.

The “Budgies” are actually just a hint of things to come after designer and entrepreneur Pamela Jabbour’s Total Image Group won the job to design the airline’s wider uniforms in a competitive pitch process.

“Pamela and the team at Total Image Group are everything we look for in a partner; entrepreneurial Aussies who have worked hard to achieve great things and are truly excited about helping bring Bonza to life,” says Carly Povey, the chief commercial officer at Bonza.

New-kid-on-the-block Bonza is launching 25 routes that’ll connect 16 destinations when things kick off later this year, with half-price fares on offer to lure customers away from Jetstar — but Bonza isn’t trying to muscle in on the hyper-competitive capital cities, instead flying solo on 80% of its routes.

Expect Bonza planes flying out of Albury, Bundaberg, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Gladstone, Mackay, Mildura, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Toowoomba Wellcamp and Townsville, as well as the Whitsunday Coast — where the purple Bonza Budgies could be on full display next summer.

The staff uniforms are yet to be unveiled, but Povey says the design will show that the startup is “different to what Australians have seen before in terms of airlines”, continuing that “uniforms are so often functional in nature but far from fun to wear, we believe both can and should be achieved”.

Jabbour says the uniforms will be “down to earth, fun, and full of energy”, while passengers can take a little piece of the Bonza spirit home — and feel good about it, as the swimwear will be made locally using all-recycled materials.

“The Bonza Budgies are perfect for your carry-on when you hop aboard to explore more of our incredible backyard,” says Jabbour.

Total Image Group has supplied uniforms for the Sydney Cricket Ground, as well as the Australian Olympic Team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

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