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New blow as Bonza’s last ditch plea fails

Bonza has failed to regonitate the grounding of its aircraft as its six planes are redeployed elsewhere, leaving more flights and staff in limbo.
Bonza has failed to regonitate the grounding of its aircraft as its six planes are redeployed elsewhere, leaving more flights and staff in limbo.

Budget airline Bonza has again failed to get off the ground, as negotiations with aircraft lenders have stalled.

In a statement, Bonza announced all flights from May 8 to 14 would be cancelled and staff would remain stood down in the period. This comes after Bonza administrators Hall Chadwick announced on Friday that it had stood down staff and cancelled flights up until Tuesday following the grounding of its aircraft.

“(Bonza’s) administrators have been in discussions with the lessors of the aircraft in order to determine whether the grounded aircraft could become operational in the short term,” the statement reads.

QATAR INQUIRY
Bonza CEO Tim Jordan. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

“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.

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

Bonza does not own any aircraft, instead leasing them. These agreements were terminated on April 30 after the airline had defaulted on its loans the previous month.

Bonza said it would try to resume operations despite the loss of its fleet.

The ABC reported about 150 staff had been stood down without pay, with many left “screaming and crying” at the news they wouldn’t be compensated for their work in April.

A court hearing today revealed that almost 60,000 customers had been left without compensation for ticket purchases by the airline.

“The administrators confirm that they are not in a position to process or issue refunds on behalf of (Bonza) at this time,” Tuesday’s statement reads.

“Customers who have had their flights cancelled should contact their financial institution to discuss available options.”

Bonza’s 323 employees are owed wages from April.
Bonza’s 323 employees are owed wages from April.

The first meeting of creditors is scheduled to be held on Friday, and more than 20,000 of those owed indicated they would take part in the meeting.

“It is very difficult to see how 20,000-odd people could ever be accommodated in a physical meeting, that would require a stadium,” Bonza’s barrister James Hutton SC told Justice Elizabeth Cheeseman at Federal Court on Tuesday.

“The company does not have access to any of the six aircraft which it was presently using.”

Bonza’s repossessed fleet is due to be repositioned for use by other air bodies.