Bonza Administrators Granted 2-Month Extension to Save Airline

A Bonza aircraft parked under suspension at Gold Coast airport.
Robert Myers (CC-BY-SA 3.0 AU), CC BY-SA 3.0 AU, via Wikimedia Commons

The Australian Federal Court has granted administrators for the beleaguered carrier Bonza two-month extension to save the airline.

The news of the decision has drawn a mixed response, particularly from the airlines workforce who remain on stand down without pay.

Two-Month Extension Granted

According to a report by the ABC News, Bonza employees are described as losing hope after the recent development.

Workers have been on stand down without pay since the airline ceased operations and went into administration.

The decision by the federal court means that they are effectively in limbo. They are now unable to accept other work during the two-month extension.

The Federal Court took the current plight of employees into account, but decided that the potential benefits outweighed their uncertainty.

A Bonza Airlines Boeing 737 on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Bonza Airlines

Suspension of Operations in April

The budget airline, launched approximately 15 months ago, abruptly suspended all flights in April 2024.

Not long after the shock announcement, the airline entered voluntary administration, a process where a company is unable to repay its debts.

This sudden collapse had a crippling impact on its workforce, with many left reeling from the news of being stood down without pay.

Around 150 Bonza employees faced the harsh reality of unpaid work for the month of April. News reports described a scene of despair during a virtual staff meeting where the announcement was made.

Many employees, who had put in their hard work and dedication to the fledgling airline, were left in distress at the time. The sudden loss of income placed a significant burden on these individuals, many with bills to pay and families to support.

The administrators appointed to oversee Bonza’s financial affairs cited a lack of funds as the reason for the unpaid wages.

The airline’s financial struggles, coupled with the unexpected termination of aircraft leases due to loan defaults, left them with no means to compensate their employees.

A Bonza Airlines Boeing 737 MAX on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Bonza

Next Steps

The future for the fledgling low-cost carrier remains uncertain at this time. Amidst this uncertainty, staff members left in an anxious limbo clearly need to make ends meet.

The further two-month hiatus effectively imposed by the Federal Court extension compounds their situation if they cannot work.

The Flight Attendants’ Association of Australia (FAAA) has called for flexibility. It asked that employees be allowed to seek other work without being penalised.

The Association also suggested a two-week notice period to be issued to those employees, should the airline successfully recommence operations.

Presently, the fate of both the airline and its employees remains in limbo.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
3 Min Read
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