Bonza Cancels Flights Amid 737 MAX Repossession

Daniel Fowkes
30 Apr 2024
· Airlines 
Australian budget carrier Bonza is suspending flights amid the upcoming repossession of its 737 MAX fleet and viability concerns.

One of Australia’s newest airlines, Bonza, has cancelled flights this morning amid ongoing financial pressures and aircraft difficulties.

What’s Happening To The Fleet

The Australian Financial Review reports creditors are repossessing the fleet of eight jets, which would severely limit the airline’s ability to offer scheduled services.

Bonza exclusively operates with 737 MAX jets, which have allowed it to offer one of the youngest fleets in the Oceania region.

The Australian Financial Review reported that the company had sought external help managing its finances only weeks ago. This report indicated that the airline was in more trouble than imagined. However, the budget airline denied these claims.

Bonza’s fleet has always had its ups and downs, with ex-Bonza jets being seen in Europe amid more curious decisions. During the Australian summer schedule, the carrier operated Flair Airlines jets from Canada to help boost capacity.

More Details Of The Struggles

Tim Jordan, the founder and CEO of Bonza, says in a brief statement that the service suspension is merely temporary.

Jordan says that before the airline can resume flights, important discussions must be held about the viability of the business.

Bonza has been in the headlines for a considerable period regarding its finances and position within the aviation sector. Additionally, with just over a year in the market, there were questions about its long-term ability to offer scheduled flights.

Much of this focus rested on the persistent difficulties with 777 Partners, partner airline Flair, reliability, finances, etc. Despite the appetite for low-cost travel within Australia, making this work is another challenge.

The Short Stint Of Bonza & Struggles

Bonza launched at the beginning of 2023, which was made possible thanks to the pandemic and the availability of 737 MAX jets. Following its launch, the company continuously adjusted its schedule. Essentially, the airline looked to throw darts and hope some landed from analysts’ perspectives.

A Bonza 737 MAX rendering – Photo: Bonza

Throughout its brief stint in the sector, it suspended, launched, cancelled, and moved many services around, hoping to find an ideal middle ground. The airline’s operations are centred around the eastern part of Australia.

The Australian carrier uses Melbourne, Sunshine Coast, and the Gold Coast as its three core bases, the latter being the newest. Now, services from all these locations are mainly being suspended.

Australian Airlines Offers Support

Virgin Australia has stated that it’s aware of the suspension of Bonza flights. Albeit temporary, it is offering its support to impacted passengers.

The Australian carrier says it’ll “immediately support any passengers stranded mid-journey by offering complimentary seats on Virgin Australia-operated flights to the airport nearest their final planned Bonza destination.”

If impacted Bonza passengers are stuck at an airport, they are encouraged to see a Virgin Australia customer representative. Alternatively, those at home are told to call the Guest Contact Centre.

Additionally, Qantas Group has supported the affected Bonza travellers, saying if there’s another close alternative, they’ll help customers. These changes will be made at no additional cost.

Is Bonza Finished?

ABC reports that a man whose wife works with Bonza attended a meeting with about 20 cabin crew. During this meeting, his wife was told that “the bottom line is that Bonza will no longer be flying.”

Effectively speaking, while temporarily suspending flights today, the airline is finished.

Leave a Reply

  1. Yet Again Australia,s “travelling / wish to travel more / public are let down as a result of the HUGE ELEPHANT in the room called Quantas!
    Compas was “sabotaged” by Kim Beasly and Hawke ! They just need some extra time to pay airport slots fees etc ( you would know more than me ).
    Auralians are “gouged”, locally ( by Quantas ) and go overseas to spend their money. Many folks , really want to see more of Australia / not deal with visas , foreign currency!
    Meanwhile our hospitality / tourist venues “struggle”.
    When is this madness going to end?
    We went to the moon 60 years ago , yet we cannot fly to see this beatiful continent, without “selling a kidney” or some other part of our “meaphorical body.
    emcshane@iinet.net.au

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