Bonza’s chances of flying take a hit as repossession of its Boeing fleet set to proceed

Bonza’s chances of flying take a hit as repossession of its Boeing fleet set to proceed

The chances of embattled budget carrier Bonza Airlines flying anytime soon have taken a hit after the company holding the lease on its Boeing fleet looks set to repossess the jets, leaving the company’s staff and passengers out in the cold for the immediate future.

Administrators from Hall Chadwick have revealed today that despite ongoing discussions with the leasing company they have been advised that the lessor is still moving to repossess the Bonza fleet of Boeing 737 Max-8 jets.

“The administrators have regretfully been advised that the lessors will continue to enforce their rights under the termination notices and, subject to their own requirements and arrangements, seek to reposition the fleet elsewhere,” say the administrators.

“This is a difficult situation, and the administrators recognise the significant impact on all stakeholders including the company’s employees and customers.”

Bonza is majority owned by US-based 777 Partners and the aircraft leases were held by the group’s asset manager AIP Capital until early April when the leases were transferred to Phoenix Aviation Capital, a fully-owned subsidiary of insurer ACap.

The company moved to repossess the Bonza fleet ahead of the company being placed into voluntary administration on 29 April.

Richard Albarran, Kathleen Vouris, Brent Kijurina and Cameron Shaw, of Hall Chadwick, were appointed as administrators to determine the airline’s chances of survival.

The termination of lease led to the immediate grounding of Bonza flights, although the administrators have been working towards a solution for the airline to resume operations.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of administrators telling most of Bonza’s staff last Friday that they would be stood down at least until today, 7 May.

The decision affected 302 of Bonza’s total workforce of 323 whose employment has been in limbo since the appointment of administrators.

Despite the impending loss of the company’s aircraft, the administrators say they are “reviewing all available options to allow the resumption of the company’s operations”.

The administrators add that they will “continue in their efforts through various discussions with interested parties, potential investors, and other airlines”.

They concede that extra time will be needed to “facilitate and finalise, if possible, these arrangements”.

Passengers who may have hoped to be flying on Bonza from tomorrow have been told that Bonza flights from 8 May 2024 to 14 May 2024, inclusive, will be cancelled.  

The administrators have also extended the stand down of staff for another week, prompting the Flight Attendants’ Association of Australia (FAAA) to launch a GoFundMe campaign titled “Support Bonza Cabin Crew in Crisis”.

The latest blow comes ahead of the first creditors meeting which will be held at the end of this week, on Friday 10 May.

Bonza has about 58,000 creditors, most of whom are passengers who have paid for flights that they cannot use. The company is understood to have about 120 trade creditors.

“Given the large number of creditors … the administrators have filed an application in the Federal Court of Australia in relation to the conduct of the creditors meeting,” say the administrators.

“The administrators have brought this application to, amongst other things, minimise costs incurred in convening the meeting.”

Meanwhile, the GoFundMe campaign for Bonza staff at 2.30pm (AEST) was sitting at just $2,825 raised so far of its $660,000 target.

The FAAA says Bonza staff were stood down last week only three days before payday “to be told they cannot be paid for the previous month”.

“This has meant that Bonza cabin crew, already living pay cheque to pay cheque under minimum award conditions now face rent, mortgage repayments, power, gas, and food and other bills that they simply cannot afford,” says the FAAA on the GoFundMe page.

“Out of a job due to no fault of their own, Bonza cabin crew need your urgent help to get them and their families through this crisis.”

The FAAA plans to manage the funds and distribute donated monies to the Bonza crew who have registered with the association as needing assistance.

Subscribe Now!
Four time-saving tips for automating your investment portfolio
Partner Content
In today's fast-paced investment landscape, time is a valuable commodity. Fortunately, w...
Etoro
Advertisement

Related Stories

The startup journey of Gold Coast advisory WMS tracks a city’s 30-year transformation

The startup journey of Gold Coast advisory WMS tracks a city’s 30-year transformation

Accounting and business advisory firm WMS is among a rare breed of ...

Fable leans in to mushrooms over ‘plant-based’, strikes deals from Wagamama UK to Zeus Street Greek

Fable leans in to mushrooms over ‘plant-based’, strikes deals from Wagamama UK to Zeus Street Greek

If there is a lesson to be learned from Fable Food Co for the ventu...

G’day Group boosts holiday park assets to $1.5b after buying Margaret River’s Taunton Farm

G’day Group boosts holiday park assets to $1.5b after buying Margaret River’s Taunton Farm

Regional tourism company G’day Group has expanded its Discove...

IAG slapped with class action amid claims algorithms targeted loyal customers

IAG slapped with class action amid claims algorithms targeted loyal customers

Insurance Australia Group (ASX: IAG) has been slapped with a class ...