Bonza airlines goes bust: Here’s what you need to know

Flights have been suspended nationwide.
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Budget airline Bonza has suspended their flights nationwide up to and including Thursday, April 2nd following ongoing financial issues.

The carrier said the suspension would be short-term and resolved once stakeholders found a means of keeping the business afloat.

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On the morning of April 30th, Bonza CEO Tim Jordan advised that discussions were underway regarding “the ongoing viability of the business”.

“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 domestic aviation market.”

Later that day, the business entered voluntary administration. Discussions about ongoing trading are expected to take place over the “forthcoming days”.

“The company’s fleet is currently grounded pending discussions with relevant parties and key stakeholders,” Hall Chadwick, the voluntary administrators assigned to the case, said in a statement.

“The administrators are conscious of the impact of the grounding of the company’s fleet and are working alongside the existing senior management of the company and the aircraft operational team in respect to ongoing trading,” they added.

Budget airline Bonza has entered voluntary administration. (Credit: Bonza)

Speaking with the Sydney Morning Herald, an insider source revealed that several aircrafts had already been seized from Bonza as a means of recouping money owed to investors.

When Bonza launched down under in January 2023, the airline focused on flying to regional routes that weren’t serviced by larger carriers.

Bonza also offered regional customers the option of flying direct, instead of a stopover in a capital city.

Prior to the service suspension, Bonza operated 36 routes to 21 airports across the country, primarily on the East Coast. They currently employ approximately 150 individuals.

Thousands of passengers have been left stranded nationwide. (Credit: Bonza)

For those customers who have booked flights with Bonza in the coming days and weeks, Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin have offered complimentary flights to the airport closest to their final Bonza destination. 

Frustratingly, the majority of the regional airports that Bonza flew to are not serviced regularly, or at all, by these major airlines.

Bonza customers can contact Jetstar on 13 15 38, Virgin on 3295 2296, or Qantas on 13 13 13. 

A dedicated hotline (1800 069 244) has also been set up by the Federal Government to assist stranded passengers.

Transport minister Catherine King confirmed that the government had also been in contact with Bonza: “Our expectation is that they keep passengers informed of their options and their consumer rights.”

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