Bonza: Australian Airline goes into Administration, Leaving Passengers Stranded

The newest low-cost airline in Australia has abruptly cancelled all of its flights on Tuesday and into voluntary administration.

Due to Bonza’s financial difficulties, thousands of travellers are now stranded across the nation.

The carrier, which has been in operation since last year, was the first to debut in Australia since 2007.

Qantas and Virgin Australia continue to dominate the aviation industry, which is still one of the most consolidated in the country.

“We apologise to our customers who are impacted by this and we’re working as quickly as possible to determine a way forward that ensures there is ongoing competition in the Australian aviation market,” Bonza stated in a statement.

The company’s filings with Australia’s corporate regulator reveal that Hall Chadwick has been named voluntary administrators for both its operating and holding companies.

According to local media, Bonza’s eight aircraft, which comprised a fleet of Boeing 737 Max models, were repossessed by creditors on Tuesday. The claim has not been verified by the airline.

Mel Watkins, a passenger scheduled to travel to Launceston for a family vacation, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that she was “absolutely shattered” to learn that her departure had been cancelled.

“I thought it’s an Australian airline, and we’d be better off supporting a small company, but it turns out no,” she stated.

A passenger emergency help hotline was established by the federal transport department on Tuesday following the cancellation of flights in Victoria and Queensland.

Ninety-five percent of the country’s domestic aviation industry is made up of Qantas Group and Virgin Australia, both of which pledged to help any traveller who gets lost in mid-trip.

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Bonza, a company based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, debuted in 2021 with the promise of inexpensive tickets and a variety of new domestic destinations.

It finally took to the skies in 2023 after delays in obtaining regulatory licence; but, because to a lack of aircraft and low passenger volume, it quickly had to close numerous routes.

Its inability to gain access to landing and take-off locations in the lucrative Sydney market, coupled with those setbacks, immediately raised questions about its survival.

The major transport union in Australia is currently requesting an urgent meeting with the airline executives to talk about the effects of the abrupt closure on employees.

According to Michael Kaine, national secretary of the transport workers union, “Bonza must ensure staff are prioritised and informed as this process plays out,” as reported by the Guardian.

Mr. Kaine also cautioned that any airline trying to enter the market “has little chance of survival” and blasted the “unchecked corporate greed” in the aviation business that has resulted in increased fares.

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