Bonza fleet grounded until at least 8 May, most employees stood down

Bonza fleet grounded until at least 8 May, most employees stood down

Bonza's Bazza plane at Sunshine Coast Airport. 

Administrators for Bonza have confirmed the budget airline's fleet will remain grounded at least until Wednesday next week as negotiations continue with AIP Capital, the asset management arm of the company's US financial backer 777 Partners.

Dublin-based AIP is understood to have moved to repossess the airline's whimsically named planes, such as Bazza, Shazza and Sheila, on Tuesday - the same day that Hall Chadwick partners Richard Albarran, Kathleen Vouris, Brent Kijurina and Cameron Shaw were called in as administrators.

The move left travellers all over the country in limbo, and whilst Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin stepped up to offer free flights to stranded people where possible, they only overlap with six of Bonza's 36 routes. Since then the administrators have also revealed that refunds are not on the cards

Previous announcements signalled that planes would be grounded until at least the end of today, but now that timeframe has been extended.

"Whilst the administrators are continually in discussions with the lessor of the company’s fleet and relevant parties regarding resumption of operations, those discussions are occurring daily and will continue to take place over the forthcoming days and into next week," Hall Chadwick said in a statement.

"As such the administrators are unable to resume flight operations from Friday 3 May 2024 up to and including Tuesday 7 May 2024. Customers with bookings during this period are advised not to travel to the airport.

"Customers scheduled to travel during this time are requested to make alternative arrangements with other airline carriers."

In an update published late in the evening, the administrators also confirmed that most employees would be stood down, with the exception of some staff who will be helping administrators in their efforts.

"Meetings between the administrators, the interested parties and the lessors are continuing daily. During this time, whilst the aircraft remain grounded, and there is insufficient cashflow and funding, the administrators are unable to recommence full operations," Hall Chadwick said.

"The administrators also have no alternative but to stand down the majority of the employees of the company, pending the outcome of these above ongoing discussions.

"The administrators appreciate this is not the news that the employees, customers, and other key stakeholders would like to hear however there is no alternative course of action available to the administrators at this point in time."

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